National President's Message - 17 August 2015

Last week AILA made a submission to Infrastructure Australia advocating for inclusion of green infrastructure priorities in the 15 year Infrastructure Plan for Australia. I’m sure many members would find it surprising that green infrastructure is largely absence in the Infrastructure Audit which was prepared to inform the preparation of the 15 year Infrastructure Plan. On one hand it highlights the shortcomings of AILA and related industry groups advocacy in recent years. Conversely it represents a big opportunity to elevate the contribution landscape architecture makes to the creation of healthier, liveable and sustainable cities. Thank you to the members who provided valuable inputs in the preparation of submission and for the inputs from Adam Beck (who many members will have met when he was working on the formulation of the GBCA Green Star Communities).

The submission is just one aspect of the advocacy AILA has been doing in this area. As reported a few weeks ago, Shahana and I met with the Deputy Prime Ministers office (who is also the Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development) to discuss the importance of green infrastructure. Shahana has also been meeting with other ministers, industry bodies and allied groups (such as 202020) to establish a Green Infrastructure Summit in early 2016. The event will bring together thought leaders in industry and government to discuss issues and priorities. To successfully elevate the importance of investment in green infrastructure AILA needs to ensure it is an issue that is broadly understood and appreciate. As the Infrastructure Audit highlighted there is still work to be done. The steps that have been taken so far have been positively received and we will keep providing members with updates as things progress.

Don’t forget there is still time to vote in the 2015 National Council elections. All members are able to participate in the elections regardless of where you are located. It is the first time the on line voting system has been trialled and the feedback has been very positive (it’s certainly a lot easier than the paper ballot system). As with any new system, a couple of members have had a few hiccups. Please get in touch with the national office if you need a hand or have any thoughts (all feedback, good and bad, helps make the system better for next time). We are fortunate to have such high calibre candidates and I can’t wait to see the outcome of the vote.

Mark Frisby

AILA National President

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