During the Christmas – New Year break, I had a few weeks leave, and did a 14,000 km road trip around Australia, with some detours due to flooding! When travelling, generally we move between cities and towns using transport infrastructure, from one piece of built environment to another. The built environment very much defines our lives, our memories and our quality of life. So too, of course, do the people in our lives and the natural environment, but we wouldn’t have the advanced civilisation we have today without cities and towns. Even a log cabin by a lake is part of the built environment – complementing the natural environment. The people who design, build and maintain our built environment have an enormous responsibility to current and future generations to get it right.
Speaking of getting it right, a recent report by the University of New South Wales stated that the Australian built environment can achieve net zero by 2040. The guide, Race to Net Zero Carbon: A Climate Emergency Guide for New and Existing Buildings in Australia, explains how materials and best practices can help architects, engineers, planners and others to transform the industry and built environment toward net zero.
Further, State and Federal Governments have struck a $7 billion deal to fund the infrastructure needed for the 2032 Brisbane Olympic and Paralympic Games.
In addition, Treasurer Jim Chalmers has given the states and territories until June to decide how best to overhaul their planning and zoning regulations to achieve the construction of one million homes across the country, as mentioned in the October budget.
All of these are positive developments.
Engineered stone and silicosis have been in the news lately. If the evidence points to the manufacture and cutting of engineered stone causing silicosis, then either safety measures need to be improved or engineered stone needs to make way for safer products. The safety of people working in the construction industry is of paramount importance.
Dr James Cameron
ACIF Executive Director