A leading architecture body has challenged the re-elected Morrison Government to prioritise important reforms concerning the built environment.

The Australia Institute of Architects (AIA) has congratulated Prime Minster Scott Morrison on his electoral success.

But it stressed that much work is needed to ensure that the newly elected Government delivers the best possible outcomes during its next term.

This includes through reform of building regulation and embedding good design in government policies for managing the growth of cities and towns.

AIA National President Professor Helen Lochhead said Australia faces complex growth, economic and environmental challenges.

In terms of property, this calls for solutions that enable the built environment to deliver the best outcomes for the Australian people.

Lochhead said the role of architects in delivering this should not be underestimated.

‘The Morrison Government’s policy platform explicitly addresses the need to better manage the country’s growth and ensure that infrastructure and key services, such as housing, can keep up,” Lochhead said.

“They acknowledge the need for improved planning and the critical importance of collaboration across all levels of government.”

“As professionals in the built environment, architects have great capacity to assist in transforming these challenges into opportunities. Whether it’s in the continued roll out of City Deals, or the introduction of their new national population and planning framework, we see a role for architects to contribute their expertise.”

Lochhead says action is needed in several areas.

First, there was housing affordability.

On this score, the Institute applauded promises on the part of the Morrison Government to allow up to 10,000 first-home-buyers who have a five percent deposit to avoid thousands of dollars in mortgage insurance by guaranteeing the amount needed to reach the 20 percent threshold at or above which banks do not require mortgage insurance.

Next, recommendations from the Shergold Weir report need to be implemented urgently.

Finally, more action is needed on urban planning, transport and design.

This includes through inclusive and accessible housing; addressing climate change including a national plan for net zero carbon buildings by 2040; the appointment of an Australian Government Architect and a National Architecture Policy; and fair and open government procurement that recognises the strong expertise and skill of Australian architects.

Lochhead said the importance of design must be recognised.

“Embedding good design in critical policies and investments will maximise the benefits returned to Australian communities, whether in our cities or our regions, through the quality and performance of their buildings and urban environments.”