6 March 2014 – UPDATED – Peter Verwer will retire as chief executive of the Property Council of Australia to head the Asia Pacific Real Estate Association, based in Singapore. Mr Verwer leaves in May after more than two decades of influential leadership of the industry umbrella group, and a key role in the development of the Green Building Council of Australia, of which he is a life Fellow.
Mr Verwer, who took over the Property Council reins in 1992, after starting in its policy unit, will leave in May. He will also resign his positions as chair of Livable Housing Australia, the Construction Forecasting Council, and the Australia-New Zealand Counter Terrorism Committee’s Business Advisory Group on Mass Gatherings. A decision on his position as a director of the GBCA has yet to be made.
- UPDATE 7 March 2014 – GBCA on a founding role and that “roll of the eyes”
Green Building The GBCA said in a media statement late Thursday that Mr Verwer had been at “the forefront of leading new ideas and reforms in our sector, most notably in sustainability”.
“A founding board director of the GBCA, Peter was instrumental in driving the GBCA’s establishment and ultimate success. His multi-layered contributions to the GBCA over the years – guiding technical, policy and financial decisions – has been invaluable.
“He has been a vocal supporter of the Green Star rating system for buildings and communities, and in voluntary mechanisms which push best practice benchmarks for green building. His steadfast commitment to sustainability has driven a rapid transformation and today 20 per cent of Australia’s office space is Green Star-certified.
“Peter’s commitment to working collaboratively is renowned throughout the industry. His involvement with collaborative events and activities such as the Green Cities conferences, the Australian Sustainable Built Environment Council and the Built Environment Meets Parliament summit has far exceeded his responsibilities as CEO of the Property Council. ‘
GBCA chief executive Romilly Madew said Chief Executive, said the GBCA’s leadership team was “particularly grateful for Peter’s generosity, guidance and support over many years”.
“Anyone who has worked with him knows that a roll of the eyes from Peter Verwer is worth more than a thousand words from a politician. We will miss Peter’s insight, hard work and leadership.
“The Australian property and construction industry is acknowledged the world over for its collaborative style – something that can be attributed, in no small measure, to Peter. For more than two decades he’s been committed to building a thriving, collaborative, sustainable industry. His visionary leadership at both the Property Council and the GBCA has transformed these organisations from niche operations to highly respected influential bodies.
“I’ve personally gained much from working with Peter, and the team and I at the GBCA will continue to work hard over the coming years to realise Peter’s vision for a more efficient, healthy, productive and resilient built environment.”
Property Council National President, Darren Steinberg, said Verwer had made an enormous contribution to the property industry.
In a media statement on Wednesday night, Mr Steinberg said: “Peter has built and led a team that is respected for its powerful policy leadership and solutions-based advocacy.
“The organisation has forged first-class relationships with all major political leaders across the country and is a tireless campaigner for property investment interests.
“Peter has also done much to demonstrate the huge economic and social contribution made by the property industry to the broader community.”
Mr Verwer’s achievements included growing annual revenues from $7 million to $26 million during his tenure, Mr Steinberg said.
Mr Verwer said he leaves the organisation with “mixed emotions”.
“It’s been a huge privilege to work for the Property Council during its evolution from a fledgling trade association,” he said.