2012 Australia Award for Urban Design winners announced

BRISBANE'S River Quay project, Sydney's Darling Quarter redevelopment, Penrith's vision of the future and the Parramatta River Urban Design Strategy have received the 2012 Australia Award for Urban Design, one of Australia's most prestigious urban design awards that recognises excellence and innovation in urban design.

The Award, hosted by the Planning Institute of Australia with support from the Australian Institute of Architects, the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects, Consult Australia, Green Building Council of Australia, Property Council of Australia and the Urban Design Forum, was presented at the Built Environment Meets Parliament (BEMP) dinner in Canberra last week.

  • Written by Urbanalyst

Australia's population grows 1.4 per cent in 2011

AUSTRALIA'S annual population growth rate was 1.4 per cent for the year ending 31 December 2011, according to figures released this week by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

Over the same period, Australia's population increased by 302,600 people to 22.5 million (22,485,300) people. Net overseas migration accounted for 55 per cent of the growth for the year ending December 2011, with the remaining 45 per cent due to natural increase (births minus deaths).

  • Written by Urbanalyst

Local government calls for Australian Government to act on referendum

THE Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) this week called on the Australian Government to commit to a referendum to recognise local government in the Australian Constitution.

The call follows this week's High Court decision over the Williams Case that raised doubts about the Australian Government's ability to provide direct funding to entities that are not recognised in the Constitution.

  • Written by Urbanalyst

Australian Government releases local government infrastructure funding review

AUSTRALIAN Local Government Minister Simon Crean this week released a major review that identifies potential new ways for local governments to plan, finance and deliver infrastructure investments.

The review, Strong foundations for sustainable local infrastructure, was undertaken by Ernst and Young and launched by the Minister at the National General Assembly of Local Government in Canberra.

  • Written by Urbanalyst

Minister announces RDAF projects for Tasmania and Victoria

REGIONAL Australia Minister Simon Crean last week announced the successful projects for Tasmania and Victoria as part of the $200 million second round of the Regional Development Australia Fund (RDAF), a five-year, $1 billion regional funding program.

Nine projects in Victoria, with a total project value of $168.2 million, will receive $38.8 million in RDAF funding. While in Tasmania, two projects will receive $1.7 million in RDAF funding, with a total project value of $20 million.

  • Written by Urbanalyst

Australian Government to establish world's largest national network of marine reserves

THE Australian Government last week announced the creation of the world's largest network of marine reserves, with Environment Minister Tony Burke releasing maps showing the government's final network of marine reserves.

Once proclaimed under national environmental law, the new network will increase the number of marine reserves from 27 to 60 and expand the national network to cover more than a third of the nation's waters.

  • Written by Urbanalyst

GBCA releases Green Star rating tool for communities

THE Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) last week released a new rating tool, Green Star – Communities, calling it one of the world's first independent, transparent, national schemes to assess and certify the sustainability of community-level development projects.

GBCA said it hopes the tool will provide federal government with a vehicle for delivering and measuring policy outcomes, state governments with guidance for planning, approval and benchmarking of significant projects and local governments with a framework for greater sustainable development outcomes and collaboration with industry.

  • Written by Urbanalyst

RDAF provides $100m in funding for regional NSW and Queensland projects

THE Australian Government last week announced over $100 million in funding for projects in regional New South Wales and Queensland as part of Round Two of the Regional Development Australia Fund (RDAF), a five-year, $1 billion regional funding program.

Regional Australia Minister Simon Crean said the Federal Government will invest $200 million in Round Two of the program, which builds on the $150 million invested in the first stage.

  • Written by Urbanalyst

Dwelling approvals fall 8.7 per cent in April 2012

THE number of dwellings approved fell 8.7 per cent in April 2012, in seasonally adjusted terms, following a downwardly revised rise of 6.0 per cent in March, according to figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) released last week.

Dwelling approvals decreased for the month of April in Western Australia (-46.7 per cent), South Australia (-27.8 per cent), New South Wales (-15.3 per cent) and Queensland (-2.7 per cent), but increased in Victoria (13.0 per cent) and Tasmania (9.6 per cent) in seasonally adjusted terms.

  • Written by Urbanalyst

Exhibition explores impact of built environment on people's health and habits

EARLIER this month, the Gallery of Australian Design announced the launch of BLOOM: Healthy Spaces Exhibition 2012, a new Canberra exhibition that looks at the effect the built environment has on public health and the health of communities.

Produced in partnership with the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects, BLOOM focusses on looking at the world from a landscape perspective and determining whether or not we are designing enough spaces that promote healthy lifestyles.

  • Written by Urbanalyst

Australian Government launches National Infrastructure Construction Schedule

THE Australian Government said it has taken another major step towards creating a transparent, competitive and truly national infrastructure market with last week's launch of the National Infrastructure Construction Schedule (NICS).

For the first time, the details on every economic and social project valued at $50 million or more being planned or delivered by the three tiers of government around the country will be available through NICS.

  • Written by Urbanalyst

Funding announced for a number projects as part of Liveable Cities program

A NUMBER of projects across Australia have been awarded funding as part of the Australian Government's $20 million Liveable Cities program, which aims to improve the quality of life in capital cities and major regional cities.

According to Federal Infrastructure and Transport Minister Anthony Albanese, the Liveable Cities program addresses the objectives of the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) cities reform agenda and the Federal Labor Government's National Urban Policy by supporting urban renewal and strategic urban development.

  • Written by Urbanalyst

Australian Budget 2012-13 released

THE Australian Government last week released its Budget for 2012-13, which includes $5 billion in new payments to households, funding for the first stage of a National Disability Insurance Scheme, a strengthened aged care system and increases in dental services funding.

The Budget predicts growth in real GDP of 3.25 per cent in 2012-13 and 3 per cent in 2013-14, while unemployment is forecast to remain low at 5.5 per cent in the next two years.

  • Written by Urbanalyst

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