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The royal Australian institute of architect national convention



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MEDIA RELEASE

Sj MINISTER FOR HOUSING AND CONSTRUCTION The Hon Chris HURFORD MP

EMBARGO: 10.00 AM, 17 JUNE 1984

MPS 63/

EXCERPTS OF SPEECH BY THE HON. CHRIS HURFORD, MINISTER FOR.HOUSING AND CONSTRUCTION AND MINISTER ASSISTING THE TREASURER TO THE ROYAL AUSTRALIAN INSTITUTE OF ARCHITECT NATIONAL CONVENTION, BRISBANE, SUNDAY 17 JUNE, 1984.

"...ARCHITECTS ARE THE ENVY OF MANY PEOPLE. YOU HAVE A WONDERFUL TRADITION DATING FROM THE BEGINNING OF CIVILIZATION. YOU HAVE A HIGH PURPOSE, A WIDE VARIETY OF WORK AND YOU SEEM TO HAVE SO MUCH FUN.

"OF COURSE YOU ARE, LIKE POLITICIANS, A HIGHLY VISIBLE TARGET FOR CRITICISM. WITH YOU, IT'S BECAUSE WE ALL USE YOUR BUILDINGS AND WE CAN BLAME THE ARCHITECT FOR ANY . FAULTS. IN MY LINE OF WORK, WHAT WE DO MAY AFFECT THE LIFESTYLE AND WELL-BEING OF ALL AUSTRALIANS ... AND DESPITE THE BEST OF INTENTIONS, WE CAN'T PLEASE ALL THE PEOPLE ALL THE TIME !

"...THE AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENT'S CIVIL AND DEFENCE CAPITAL WORKS PROGRAMS HAVE A SIGNIFICANT IMPACT ON THE NATION. AS WELL AS PROVIDING MUCH-NEEDED FACILITIES AND BEING A SOURCE OF EMPLOYMENT, WE ARE CHANGING PARTS OF THE ENVIRONMENT OF AUSTRALIA.

"...WITH SO MUCH AT STAKE, WHAT DOES THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT EXPECT FROM AUSTRALIAN ARCHITECTS? HOW DO WE SEE THEIR ACCOUNTABILITY?

"I SUGGEST THAT, IN GENERAL, ALL ARCHITECTS ARE ACCOUNTABLE TO FIVE GROUPS OF PEOPLE: THE CLIENT, THE USERS, THE BUILDERS, THEIR PEERS AND TO POSTERITY.

"BUT AN ARCHITECT IN THE EMPLOY OF MY DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND CONSTRUCTION, THE GOVERNMENT'S CONSTRUCTION AGENCY, HAS AN ADDITIONAL RESPONSIBILITY ... AND THAT IS TO THE GOVERNMENT AND PARLIAMENT, AND THROUGH THE PARLIAMENT, TO THE PEOPLE OF AUSTRALIA.

"...I MENTIONED EARLIER THAT ALL ARCHITECTS HAVE A CONCERN WITH QUALITY, BECAUSE OF THEIR RESPONSIBILITY TO POSTERITY ... BUT I WOULD PUT TO YOU THAT GOVERNMENT ARCHITECTS HAVE AN EVEN GREATER RESPONSIBILITY TO POSTERITY... BECAUSE THEIR DESIGNS,

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Parliament House, Canberra

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THEIR BUILDINGS ARE AN ENDURING AND VISIBLE REFLECTION OF THE GOVERNMENT'S IMAGE OF ITSELF AND OF AUSTRALIA.

"WE'RE NOT BUILDING JUST FOR THE CLIENTS, BUT WE'RE BUILDING FOR AUSTRALIA, ACCOMMODATING AUSTRALIANS IN THE BUILT ENVIRONMENT ... THE BRISBANE AIRPORT OR ADELAIDE GOVERNMENT OFFICES OR PERTH LAW COURTS OR GREENSLOPES REPATRIATION HOSPITAL OR BEIJING EMBASSY... THESE PROJECTS ARE A STATEMENT OF THE

GOVERNMENT'S SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC PRIORITIES.

"OUR ARCHITECTS, OUR DESIGNERS, MUST UNDERSTAND AND INTERPRET THE GOVERNMENT'S OBJECTIVES AS THEY RELATE TO PUBLIC WORKS ... AND THAT MUST DEMAND OF THEM BOTH IMAGINATION AND DISCIPLINE. WE DO NOT WANT A HOSPITAL THAT LOOKS LIKE A COUNTRY CLUB; OR A REFURBISHED SYDNEY G.P.O. IN MARTIN PLACE WHICH WILL

DESTROY THE HERITAGE OF AN IMPORTANT PART OF THE NATION'S HISTORY; OR A DEFENCE BASE AT TINDAL WHICH WILL ENCROACH UPON THE HOME OF THE TRADITIONAL LAND OWNERS.

"THE HAWKE LABOR GOVERNMENT IS CONCERNED ABOUT PRESERVING AND MAINTAINING AND ENHANCING THE NATIONAL ESTATE ... AND WHAT WE BUILD NOW, WILL FORM THE ENVIRONMENT FOR FUTURE GENERATIONS OF AUSTRALIANS JUST AS TODAY'S ENVIRONMENT HAS BEEN INHERITED FROM OUR EARLIER ARCHITECTS AND GOVERNMENTS.

"WE CANNOT KNOW HOW THOSE ‘ FUTURE GENERATIONS WILL JUDGE OUR WORK BUT IF HISTORY IS ANYTHING TO GO BY THEY WILL LOOK FOR AN EXPRESSION OF OUR SOCIETY. THEY WILL NOTICE WHERE WE PUT OUR EFFORT, WHERE OUR VALUES LIE. DID WE BUILD FOR

PROFIT AND EXPEDIENCY, CARELESS OF QUALITY AND THE LASTING ENVIRONMENT? OR DID WE TAKE CARE FOR THE HUMAN SPIRIT? WERE WE SENSITIVE TO THE LAND, TO NATURE, TO THE CLIMATE, TO OLDER BUILDINGS NEARBY? ;

"WE WON'T BE AROUND TO KNOW HOW THOSE QUESTIONS ARE ANSWERED... BUT AS MINISTER FOR HOUSING AND CONSTRUCTION, I AM DETERMINED THAT FUTURE GENERATIONS OF AUSTRALIANS ARE VERY CLEAR ABOUT THE HAWKE GOVERNMENT'S VALUES, OUR CARE FOR THE HUMAN SPIRIT AND THE NATURE OF OUR PRIORITIES.

"GOVERNMENTS WANT TO BE REMEMBERED FOR ENLIGHTENED PATRONAGE, FOR RESPONSIBLE USE OF PUBLIC MONEY AND FOR IMPROVEMENTS TO OUR ENVIRONMENT.

"...IT IS WITH THESE THOUGHTS IN MIND, THAT I HAVE GREAT PLEASURE IN OPENING THE 1984 CONFERENCE OF THE ROYAL AUSTRALIAN INSTITUTE OF ARCHITECTS - THE FUNCTIONS OF ARCHITECTURE.

CANBERRA 17 JUNE, 1984 MEDIA CONTACT: BONNIE MAT1JEV1C (.JJ6 2) 72 8685 (W ) (Ufr2i 49 8U54 (H)