News from National President - 5 July 2016

3 July 2016

Friends and Colleagues,

After the longest election campaign in generations, Australia has spoken. The challenge now is to work out what we’ve collectively said…

It is clear that we are entering interesting times, and as the results of #ausvotes firm up and a minority/majority government is formed, AILA will continue to advocate on many of our positions and policies, including living cities and green infrastructure.

We look forward to continuing to develop our relationships with the Australian Government, regardless of the election outcome.

As outlined in the CEO’s email on Friday of last week, the Coalition, Australian Labor Party and the Australian Greens all responded to our request for their policy positions on living cities and green infrastructure. Their responses can be downloaded here.

CEO Shahana McKenzie featured in a roundtable organised by the Australian Financial Review (AFR) on greener cities last month as part of the AFR Infrastructure Roundtable series. This was followed up with a very good article on AILA’s policies, including picking up our press release on the five urgent green infrastructure issues facing Australia. This is our advocacy plan in action. The AFR reported that federally, the parties are already indicating a response to AILA and Living City Alliance's points of policy before the July 2 election. Our key messages around recognising green infrastructure as we do grey infrastructure, to be properly considered as an asset enables local councils, state governments and federal governments to be able to look at and manage those assets as they would other capital assets, which would have a great impact in terms of how they can be maintained and operated. The article is here:

Following consultation with AILA members, we have prepared and submitted AILA’s response to the Turnbull Government’s Smart Cities Policy as announced in May 2016. You can download it here.

All members will have received an invitation to an Extraordinary General Meeting being held in Sydney on July 22nd, to vote on significant changes to AILA’s constitution. As you are aware, AILA’s constitution has been subject to a rigorous gap analysis, with the review process being instigated by National Council and managed by the Constitutional Review Working Group, along with work done by National Office, our Legal Team and the support of an Expert Governance Consultant. It received extensive membership consultation in 2015. The historic meeting in Sydney in July will enable all members to vote on the proposed changes, and herald a new era in AILA governance. I encourage you to consider these important changes and make your voice heard. Details can be found here.

I’m so happy to report that many members took advantage of the early bird specials for the upcoming NIMBY Festival in Canberra – National Office reports bumper sales, in what is shaping to be our most successful Festival yet. Curator Richard Weller has prepared an amazing and stimulating line up of people, and the excitement really is building towards this momentous event in the nation’s capital. There are still tickets available, but you might want to be quick! All details of the Festival can be found here.

Finally, AnthropoScene, the short film competition aligned with the Festival, has opened for entries…with 1 month left to close. Now I know many students of landscape architecture across the country are enjoying a well-earned break…so this is a shout out for all members and students to enter the competition, using your smart phones/tablets/devices, creating a 3-minute film on the general subject of the new epoch of the Anthropocene. THERE IS $10K PRIZE MONEY UP FOR GRABS. Get snapping and editing and submit your entries. Details can be found here.

I’m pleased to see more and more members embracing social media, and engaging with @AILA_National and the state chapters (@AILA_NSW, @AILA_SA etc). Keep up the engagement and please include AILA in your conversations.

Patience is a virtue, and as the results of the election become clearer, the good work of the profession, as supported and led by AILA, can continue.

As always, please contact me if you have things to share or discuss or contact the National Office.

Have a good week!

Daniel Bennett

Registered Landscape Architect

National President

Twitter: @DJB_LA

Tweets Tweet to @AILA_National