ACA Advocacy – June Update

Emma Brain , 13 June 2024

The ACA is actively working to amplify its voice on issues relevant to its members, the business of architecture, and practitioners’ wellbeing. We are intensifying our advocacy initiatives as we continue positioning ourselves as a vital link between the architecture profession and policymakers.

In Victoria, Branch President Paul Viney has been particularly vocal this month, expressing concern over the increasingly poor quality of construction in many higher-density projects across Melbourne. In interviews in The Age (paywall), ABC Melbourne Drive and ABC Victoria Drive, Paul emphasises the need for legislative change to protect homebuyers from substandard building practices and to give registered architects more control over project documentation and on-site delivery.

He suggests that Victoria looks to the New South Wales’ Building Practitioners Act, which requires compulsory registration for practitioners involved in design and building work and has already led to reduced reported defects.

“In Victoria, the design-construct process means you can get an architect to carry a design through to a very basic level, then what’s been happening is that detailed design is being handed off to contractors and not consultants,” he said.⁠ “None of them are registered. None of them have the appropriate qualifications to carry through the works. They have a vested interest in minimising the amount of work that’s been done.”⁠

In short, Paul argues that architects must remain at the centre of all design projects to ensure a quality outcome. ⁠

Meanwhile, the ACA’s Western Australia branch held a Business of Small Practice event to discuss recently legislated changes to the medium-density code. ACA WA Vice-President Kate Fitzgerald led the advocacy efforts on this issue, meeting with Minister John Carey and forming strategic alliances with the Australian Institute of Architects (AIA), the Housing Industry Association (HIA), and other key players in the residential housing market to build a case for reform. You can read more about that event here.

Nationally, Emma Brain has been appointed to coordinate the ACA’s advocacy efforts and has been actively connecting with the media and government representatives. Each branch meets regularly with their relevant Government Architect to discuss state-based issues and determine areas where the ACA can impact decision-making. The ACA continues to build relationships with like-minded bodies, including the AIA, Property Council, Australian Institute of Landscape Architects (AILA), and others.

As the ACA continues to amplify our advocacy efforts, we look forward to sharing more of this work in the coming months, championing the interests of architects and promoting best practices in the built environment.

Photos: Dan McBride