Federal Election Campaign - AILA'S Response

2016 Federal Election Campaign – Seeking party responses to publish

Australian Institute of Landscape Architects

The Australian Institute of Landscape Architects (AILA) is a growing national advocacy body representing 2,500 active and engaged landscape architects, and promoting their crucial role in shaping the world around us.

Committed to designing and creating a better Australia, landscape architects have the skills and expertise to solve macro and micro issues with innovative integrated design solutions.

Landscape architects contribute leadership, creativity and innovation as they strive to collaborate to achieve better health, environmental, social and economic outcomes.

From city shaping strategies to the redesign of local parks, landscape architects are making places and spaces more sustainable and productive. Communities are demanding more from governments at all scale, and landscape architects are increasingly collaborating with the public and other stakeholders to achieve positive and meaningful project outcomes.

AILA fundamentally believes that both soft and hard infrastructure is a critical success factor in planning and reshaping our cities and regional centres. 

Australia’s natural infrastructure assets are key to tackling the major issues facing Australia’s cities, towns and regions including; an ageing population, climbing obesity and diabetes rates, reduced fitness particularly in young children, social exclusion and the increasing importance of positive mental health, major transportation challenges, and heat related deaths. Further information on AILA and its policy positions can be found at www.aila.org.au

AILA is seeking responses from the major political parties to a number of policy items. The responses will be published in the AILA communication channels in the lead up to the election. We are seeking responses on each point by COB Wednesday 15 June 2016.

1. The Federal Government support the creation of a National Living Cities Fund

Establishment of an investment fund, for the implementation of green infrastructure projects across Australia. This would involve a percentage of all federal government expenditure on ‘grey infrastructure’ projects (eg. roads) to be placed in an investment fund for allocation to state and local government green infrastructure projects. This fund could be operated similar to the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, which seeks to leverage private sector funding to enhance public benefit outcomes through government investment.

Outcome: Sustained level of national funding for green infrastructure implementation.

Examples and case studies:
Scottish Government creates a Green Infrastructure Fund and blueprint https://www.greeninfrastructurescotland.org.uk/guidance

2. The Federal Government drive a change in accountancy, business case preparation and feasibility process standards to enable living Infrastructure to be considered an Asset Class (or equivalent)

Aimed at having green infrastructure formally recognized by Treasury as an asset class, to be valued during business case development for major federally funding projects. This would involve the development of a business case and value proposition for green infrastructure to be articulated and endorsed by Treasury, followed by the development and use of a set of evidence-based green infrastructure criteria used in business case approvals and value capture via Treasury.

Outcome: Green infrastructure supported and recognised by Treasury as an asset class, with agreed measurable outcomes.

Background and examples:
Attached here

3. The Federal Government support Local Government to deliver Living Infrastructure outcomes through the creation of a Local Government Green Infrastructure Package

A national incentives package would be created and delivered through local government to elevate the priority of green infrastructure strategies. A specific condition of an incentives package would be the active removal of barriers (eg. policy, codes etc) and the introduction of positive policies and frameworks to accelerate the deployment of green infrastructure investments. The package would provide funding to Local Government to accelerate projects that embed green infrastructure strategies such as green roofs, greener streets, re-establishing networks of public open space and increasing urban tree canopy coverage. This program would also be used to encourage creative green infrastructure funding and implementation strategies, such as density bonuses for greater open space, and stormwater retention credit trading systems.

Outcome: Removal of barriers to green infrastructure investment and accelerated implementation of new projects and policies.

Case Studies/Background:
https://www.portlandoregon.gov/bes/article/321331

4. The Federal Government invest in pilot programs to drive innovation and community engagement in green infrastructure

National Green Streets and ‘Grey to Green’ Pilot Program – seeking to redefine the role and design of road corridors that express the full potential of environmental, social and economic benefits from green infrastructure strategies, as well as the active retrofit of grey infrastructure to green infrastructure. This would involve a proof of concept pilot study across urban and suburban areas to test the design and implementation of green streets designs and the subsequent production of a National Green Streets guide for application by government and private sector on road projects.

Outcome: National pilot program launched and National Green Streets Guide produced.

Case Studies/Background:
http://bostoncompletestreets.org/

5. The Federal Government use the leverage of Infrastructure funding to mandate compliance with best practice tools

Minimum SITES Ratings for Federally Funded Projects – building a culture of comprehensive landscape assessment and strategy development in all federally funded infrastructure projects. By applying the SITES rating tool and having projects certified, confirms a commitment to best practice sustainable landscape management on major projects. Having these projects independently verified as meeting best practice standards promotes healthy functioning landscapes and maximum public benefit.

Case Studies/Background:

SITES information: http://www.sustainablesites.org/

US Federal Government adopts SITES for all major projects.

Tweets Tweet to @AILA_National