Local government

Working together towards sustainability

The GBCA is working closely with 48 local governments across Australia, who are taking practical action to create resilient, liveable and economically prosperous communities.

Local government activities

This page has been developed to provide relevant and up-to-date information, showcasing local government leadership, policies and initiatives that encourage sustainable buildings and communities. The page contains the homepages of our local government members, local government Green Star case studies, local government sustainability policies, submissions and media releases to governments and examples of local government Green Star tender documentation.

See our local government members

This page will be updated regularly and we encourage Councils to provide sustainability policies which they would like to promote and share.

Latest GBCA local government publication

The Green Star – Communities Guide for Local Government has been developed by the GBCA in association with AECOM. The guide is a resource for local governments to encourage community development projects in their local government areas (LGAs) that will enhance liveability, contribute to local economic prosperity and deliver sustainable outcomes.

Case studies

The GBCA works together with local, state and federal governments across Australia to accelerate the transformation of our built environment into one that is healthy, liveable, productive, resilient & sustainable. The following case studies show how leading local governments across the country are improving social, environmental & economic outcomes in their local government areas through Green Star certification.

City of Gosnells in WA achieved a 6 Star Green Star - Public Building v1 rating for the Mills Park Redevelopment project, representing 'World Leadership'. As City of Gosnells Chief Executive Ian Cowie states, "Mills Park isn't just about designing and building a green facility - it's also about engaging the community in a meaningful conversation about sustainability, and actively demonstrating how we can live greener as a community.

Wollongong City Council in NSW achieved a 5 Star Green Star - Performance rating for their Wollongong City Council - Council Administration Building. This achievement highlights that older buildings can still perform at an optimum level given that the Council buildings is 28 years old.

The City of Gosnells in WA achieved a 5 Star Green Star - Office Design rating for the City of Gosnells - Civic Centre Redevelopment. The project had a sustainability premium of $750,000 or 3 per cent on a $26 million project with a payback period of five years.

The Surf Coast Shire in Vic achieved a 5 Star Green Star - Design v3 rating for the Surf Coast Shire - Civic Building. The project is assisting Council achieve its 30 per cent emissions reduction target.

City of Greater Geelong in Vic achieved a 5 Star Green Star - Public Building Design rating for the City of Greater Geelong - Geelong Library & Heritage Centre. This is assisting to achieve a 40 per cent reduction in green house gas emissions compared with business as usual.

Moreton Bay Regional Council in Qld achieved a 5 Star Green Star - Public Building Design rating for the Moreton Bay Regional Council - The Corso, North Lakes. The project has a 50 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions compared to similar sized buildings built to code.

Parramatta City Council in NSW was the first local government in Australia to specify Green Star requirements for Parramatta City Council - Parramatta Square. Every building across the entire precinct will be registered to achieve a Green Star rating including a Green Star - Communities rating.

City of Melbourne in Vic achieved a 6 Star Green Star - Public Building Design rating for City of Melbourne - Library at the Dock.Achieving 'World Excellence' also highlighted that the library was the first public building in the country to be made from Cross Laminated Timber (CLT).

Melton City Council in Vic achieved a 5 Star Green Star - Public Building Design & As Built rating for the City of Melton - Melton Library and Learning Hub .The project has achieved annual utility coast savings of $29,800, including $23,700 savings in gas and $5,000 in water, compared to non-Green Star certified buildings.

The Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) achieved a 5 Star Green Star - Office Interiors v1.1 rating in 2009 for the GreenHouse.


A number of our local government members and non-members have provided sustainability policies which may be useful for your Council when undertaking policy updates or preparing new policies. If your Council has a policy which you would like included below, please contact the GBCA advocacy team.

Wyndham City Council

The Wyndham City Council  Environmentally Sustainable Design (ESD) Framework aims to incorporate ESD principles into all council buildings.

City of Port Phillip

The City of Port Phillip Sustainable Design Strategy (2013) is an update of council's Sustainable Design Strategy and Policy (2006). The Policy reinforces council's philosophy of creating sustainable buildings which contribute to a more sustainable urban environment.

Lake Macquarie City Council

The Lake Macquarie Better Buildings Strategy aim is to incorporate sustainable building design principles in all of council's community buildings. Assessing the design of new buildings, as well as upgrades of existing buildings.

Bathurst, Dubbo and Orange City Councils

The Inspiring & Integrating Change - Local Government Toolkit is a joint venture between three Councils in central west NSW based on three successful sustainability projects. The toolkit provides local governments the skills and know-how to start a project of their own.

Brisbane City Council

CitySmart is Brisbane City Council's dedicated sustainability agency for the city, implementing innovative projects to help cut the city's carbon footprint.

Cairns Regional Council

The Sustainable Building Design Policy  aims to incorporate sustainable building design principles in all Council buildings. This will be achieved by applying the policy to all new Council buildings and projects to extend renovate and / or retrofit existing Council buildings.

City of Greater Geelong

The Sustainable Building Policy  aims to guide organisational practices to manage the social, environmental and financial aspects of Council buildings.

City of Joondalup

The Walkability Plan provides a five year strategic plan for investing in and managing walking and cycling infrastructure to enable safe and accessible environments that enhance community mobility.

City of Melbourne

The City of Melbourne have set an ambitious target of zero net emissions by 2020. In collaboration with key stakeholders Council have developed the City of Melbourne Zero  Net Emissions by 2020 document to assist achieve this goal.

City of South Perth

The Environmentally Sustainable Building Design Planning Policy aims to create environmentally sustainable building design requirements for new developments and substantial additions to existing buildings.

Gold Coast Council

The purpose of the City Plan Policy is to set out when community benefit bonuses are required, as well as the bonus amounts and documentation requirements for achieving bonuses.

Sustainable Melbourne Fund

The Sustainable Melbourne Fund (SMF) works closely with Councils to facilitate investment in buildings and related technology via Environmental Upgrade Agreements (EUAs). SMF is a commercially oriented, independently managed unit by the City of Melbourne.

Submissions and media releases

The GBCA makes submissions to all levels of government on a range of issues relating to green buildings & sustainable communities. 

Please see below for our submissions to all levels of government.

Submissions to Government in 2016

Submissions to Government in 2015

Submissions to Government in 2014

Submissions to Government in 2013

As the nations leading authority on green buildings and communities, the GBCA has a powerful voice on a range of issues. The below media releases represent our priorities on a number of sustainability measures as well as a way of promoting the achievements of government.

Advocacy media releases in 2016

Advocacy media releases in 2015

Advocacy media releases in 2014

Advocacy media releases in 2013

Tender documentation

One of the most common questions we receive from our local government members is "how do you reference Green Star in tender documentation?" The below list will be built upon by our members who have certified Green Star projects.  If you have  examples that you would like to provide, please let the advocacy team know.

Parramatta City Council 

Parramatta City Council - Parramatta Square Public Space Design Brief and Specification has been provided by Parramatta City Council and relates to Parramatta Square. Parramatta City Council is seeking to engage a suitably qualified multi-disciplinary design team for the Parramatta Square Public Space. The multi-disciplinary design team will undertake Concept Design and Design Development for the entire public space. Green Star requirements are referenced on page 21.  More detailed requirements, including specific documentation to address the Green Star - Communities rating tool will be provided to the selected consultants.