Director's Message - 26 March 2019

It is up to us to make it happen.

Evidence clearly demonstrates that time spent in nature has significant benefits on our mental, physical and social health and wellbeing. More and more people choose to live in cities and our cities are growing in size and density at unprecedented rates. Quality public open space is at a premium and carries a high price tag due to increased property values. However, the quantity and quality of green public open space in our cities is not keeping pace with development and this is concerning when considering that health and liveability are high on personal and political agendas.

South Australia AILA Executives meet every two month to discuss important issues and topics concerning their patch of Australia. These round table meetings are discussions around strategy, progress and action.

The Executive Group’s focus on lobbying the State’s Health, Planning and Environment Ministers on the importance and quality of public open space has resulted in the ‘Healthy Parks Healthy People South Australia 2016-2021 Action Plan 2’. This plan supports collaborative action for increased green infrastructure in urban settings – one of the seven focus areas set out in the Healthy Parks Healthy Peoples SA Planning Framework.

The Action Plan is short and sharp and talks about the role of green public open space in supporting health, wellbeing, biodiversity and ecosystem services. It calls for working together to address the challenges, states a clear vision and objective and most importantly tables an action plan for the way forward.

This is a momentous achievement and we congratulate the South Australian Chapter on their strategy, dedication and persistence to achieve this commendable outcome.

The challenge is ours to replicate in all other States.

https://www.environment.sa.gov.au/files/sharedassets/public/park_management/healthy-parks-healthy-people-discussion-paper-gen.pdf

AILA is preparing several key documents to support our advocacy work in the lead up to the Federal election which is likely to be in the first half of this year. Please take the time to have your say on our draft Election Platform and on the draft Green Infrastructure Position statement

In the coming weeks and months, members will be provided with tools and information so you can influence on key issues relevant to the profession within your electorate. We will need the support of all members to have the biggest impact and we look forward to your involvement!

Katharina Nieberler-Walker

AILA Director