NSW Government Architect role important for the state’s urbanisation

The NSW Government must appoint a new Government Architect to replace Peter Poulet, says the Urban Taskforce.

“The recent move of the current NSW Government Architect, Peter Poulet, to a reduced role in the Greater Sydney Commission leaves a vacant leadership role for design in the NSW Government,” says Chris Johnson, CEO of the Urban Taskforce. “For 200 years NSW has led Australia in having a champion for the design of the built environment with a state architect.”

“The current Government Architect has successfully managed the transition of the role from one of designing buildings to one of setting the framework for the quality of buildings and their urban setting. Peter Poulet has set policies and produced guides and systems that champion design quality at a time when the community has raised concerns about increasing density in urban areas. He has also chaired the Urban Taskforce Development Excellence Awards jury and demonstrated a willingness to work with the industry. We thank Peter for his contribution the New South Wales.”

“The Urban Taskforce is concerned that there seem to be a number of senior executives leaving the Department of Planning and Environment at a crucial time in the growth of the state’s cities. The development industry needs stability and strong leadership in planning particularly with the current down turn in home prices and in housing approval numbers. The recent government back downs on key policies related to town houses,  planning policies in Ryde and on the planned precincts on the Sydenham to Bankstown line also indicate a softening in support for development.”

“There are clearly important roles in the Central District of Greater Sydney but there are also opportunities for someone of Peter Poulet’s experience to develop design quality across Greater Sydney generally and the Urban Taskforce would support this.”

“The Urban Taskforce encourages the NSW Government to ensure that the tradition of the NSW Government Architect continues particularly as an advocate for the quality design of greater urban density as populations increase.”

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