The policy and advocacy space remained supercharged throughout July. A big thank you to all of those who came and danced the night away at our fabulous Awards event, and congratulations to all those who received an award.

We are so honoured to have Yumiko Yamada, partner at SANAA along with Asano Yagi, SANAA Project Architect and Luke Johnson, Principal Architectus at our next event, The Sydney Modern Project: Behind the Scenes of the Art Gallery of NSW Transformation on the 26 August.

Register to attend here.


Powerhouse Ultimo Renewal

Exhibition on the DA for the renewal of the Powerhouse Museum Ultimo has now closed. We voiced our concerns that the proposed ‘loose-fit envelope’ approach taken would leave the door open for the Sulman Award-winning 1988 Wran Building to be demolished. Read our submission here.

See article on the DA proposal here.


MLC Building 105-153 Miller St North Sydney

The MLC building remains at high risk of demolition. We have called upon Minister Griffin to relist the building immediately and, this time, in a manner that will be upheld. We have also written to local, state and federal government in North Sydney calling for their advocacy in this matter.

Read our media statement here.


Design and Place SEPP

The scrapping of the Design and Place SEPP remains in the media, and we continue to push for the important thinking on sustainability, siting and resilience be reinstated. See our recent Media Statements here:

Response for The Daily Telegraph

Response for Sydney Morning Herald

View The Daily Telegraph article here.


Sustainable Buildings SEPP

We attended the DPIE briefing on the upcoming Sustainable Buildings SEPP and welcome the following changes to BASIX:

  • Higher Energy and Thermal Performance Standards
  • Materials Index to calculate embodied carbon emissions of building materials
  • Updated BASIX Tool (integrated into the Planning Portal)

We look forward to continuing to work with DPIE on these important initiatives.


NSW Building Reforms

We have been working closely with the policy team and await the release of a new version of the Compliance Declaration Form and an updated Design Practitioners Handbook. Our dedicated webpage will be revised and will include both existing and new content once these important changes are in place.



Current exhibitions open for feedback:

South East and Tablelands Draft Regional Plan 2041

The draft Riverina Murray Regional Plan 2041


NSW Treasury Infrastructure Advisory Standard Commercial Framework

We remain concerned that the NSW Treasury is seeking to cap daily rates for architectural services for all NSW government contracts using a benchmark rate which we believe is not representative of the current market, and which we do not believe is based on fair and robust data. Alarmingly, the capped rates being proposed are, we understand, below the cost rates of many practices. This would leave these practices unable to continue government work, a sector which, for some practices, is a core revenue source. Our letters to Treasurer Matt Keane, Eleni Petinos and Chris Lamont remain unanswered. We recently met with Shadow Minister for Planning Paul Scully to raise our concerns and we will continue to lobby on behalf of our profession to have these capped rates removed.


Lisa King
Policy & Advocacy Manager NSW


Image: ellaslist