Planning Champion Award for former Victorian Deputy Premier


Professor John Thwaites, centre, being presented with the Planning Champion Award at the 2015 PIA National Awards for Planning Excellence.

Planning Institute Australia (PIA) has recognised the achievements of Monash in the field of planning excellence, bestowing Professor John Thwaites with the Planning Champion Award.

Presented at the PIA National Awards for Planning Excellence in Melbourne last week, Professor Thwaites was recognised as a “tireless and energetic campaigner for improving the built environment”.

“Good urban planning has contributed to making Melbourne one of the world’s most liveable cities, but we still have a long way to go to be sustainable, low carbon and water sensitive,” Professor Thwaites said.

“For me, moving to Monash from politics has been a great opportunity to work with some of the best thinkers in sustainable city planning.”

“The CRC for Water Sensitive Cities and ClimateWorks Australia, both based as Monash, have demonstrated the need for stronger links between town planning, water and energy. New buildings and developments should lock in low-carbon, water sensitive design.”

The Chair of the Monash Sustainability Institute and ClimateWorks Australia, Professor Thwaites brings expertise and experience forged during his time in Victorian parliament, where he served as the Minister for a range of key portfolios including Planning, Environment, Health and Water.

“ClimateWorks Australia’s deep decarbonisation plan for Australia has shown how Australia can be carbon neutral by 2050 but this requires a reduction in energy use in buildings of around 50 per cent and electrification of vehicles, both of which will need to be supported by the urban planning system.

A Law (Honours) and Science graduate of Monash, Professor Thwaites served as deputy Premier of Victoria from 1999-2007.

It was during this time he oversaw significant planning and environmental reforms including 5-star energy and water efficiency standards for all new homes, a new residential building code, renewable energy and energy efficiency targets for Victoria, a major water conservation and behaviour change program and a significant boost for environmental flows in the Murray Darling Basin.

PIA is the national body representing planning and the planning profession, with the awards presented as part of the 2015 Planning Congress.

Find out more about ClimateWorks and the Monash Sustainability Institute.