Hon Simon O'Brien MLC

Hon Simon O'Brien MLC

Former Minister for Finance; Commerce; Small Business

    WA first to develop better public places and spaces

    30/01/2013 12:00 AM
    • Improved design in public projects to deliver better value for money
    • Creating a legacy of outstanding public buildings and spaces

    Western Australia has become a national leader in recognising the value of good design with the release of Better Places and Spaces: a Built Environment Policy for Western Australia, Finance Minister Simon O’Brien said in launching the policy today.


    In a first for Australia, the State Government has launched a policy promoting the value of good design; establishing parameters for measuring and assessing good design; and fostering a local culture of design excellence.


    “Good design in our built environment is crucial to achieving value for money,” Mr O’Brien said.


    “This policy will help make Western Australia a unique and competitive place in which to live, work and do business.


    “This Government is providing continued strong economic performance and unprecedented investment in essential capital works and infrastructure projects in a period of increasing population growth, and good design is essential in making the most of these opportunities.


    “The Better Places and Spaces policy has been developed by the Office of the Government Architect in the Department of Finance to empower a range of design quality guidance, leading to better public spaces, schools, hospitals, sports and justice facilities for the benefit of all West Australians.”


    The policy commits Government to a leadership role in improving the quality of its public realm; raising industry and community awareness of good design; recognising value for money across the whole life of a project; and promoting sustainable design principles. This should, in turn, raise the bar for private sector development. 


    Better Places and Spaces has an action plan which identifies strategies to improve the built environment, including implementing minimum design standards for public works and committing to a rigorous program of design review for key State projects.


    The policy will support the planning and delivery of such projects as the new Western Australian Museum; the new Perth Stadium; and the Elizabeth Quay development.


              Fact File

    • Liberal National Government has embarked on a record capital works program with an average annual spend of $6.5billion compared to an average annual spend of $3.5billion under the previous government
    • In addition to the capital works program, the Liberal National Government is also planning for Western Australia’s future strategic infrastructure needs by putting aside funding now with the $1billion future fund announced in the 2012-13 State Budget

    Minister’s office - 6552 5800