The Planning Institute of Australia (PIA) has released a new State of the Profession Report, which confirms that Australian councils need more qualified planners, one of the key findings of the ALGA’s 2022 Jobs and Skills Survey.
ALGA says that the lack of planners is expected to become a bigger issue, especially for local government, following the recent passing of the Federal Government’s Housing Australia Future Fund legislation which includes ambitious housing targets.
The PIA report found 232 local government areas in Australia had no planners on staff – which equates to 43 per cent of all local government areas.
ALGA’s recent local government workforce survey also showed more than nine out of ten councils are facing jobs and skills shortages, with the biggest shortages for planners and engineers.
At the National Cabinet meeting in August 2023, which focused on housing affordability, there was agreement by Federal and State/Territory Governments to adequately resource built environmental professionals, including planners, in local government.
ALGA has consistently called on the Federal Government for more united funding – through Financial Assistance Grants – that would support councils to plan and upskill their workforce. Stating that there also needs to be more support for training, recruitment and retention ,as well as funding for apprenticeships, cadetships and traineeships.
ALGA said it continues to highlight to the government that investing in councils is good for improving national productivity and is a smart decision for the future.