Uncertain future for Minister for Cities

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has named Minister for the Environment Greg Hunt as the acting Minister for Cities and the Built Environment following the resignation of Jamie Briggs, who was only appointed to the role in September 2015.

In announcing the appointment, Prime Minister Turnbull had said that “Liveable, vibrant cities are absolutely critical to our prosperity.” At the time, the Australian Institute of Architects welcomed news of the new role.

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“A federal champion is crucial in driving reforms that better connect built environment policies and programs across all levels of government,” said David Parken, CEO of the institute.

Briggs resigned as Minister for Cities and the Built Environment following concerns raised by a female public servant about his inappropriate behaviour towards her during an official visit to Hong Kong.

The Prime Minister’s office was not able to provide information about whether or not a new Minister for Cities and the Built Environment would be appointed, and if so, when that may be.

The current Shadow Minister for Cities is Anthony Albanese, who also covers infrastructure and transport and tourism.

The last time both major political parties in Australia simultaneously had a cities portfolio was during the Whitlam government in 1972.

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