Policy Perspective - April 2017

It’s hard to believe April is already upon us as we hurtle through 2017. It’s also incredible to acknowledge the traction we’ve gained as an industry working towards sustainable policy and planning for tomorrow’s Australia.

A slow race for policy leadership

Federal public policy has shifted gears in recent months with energy security, housing affordability and the Government’s tax reform agenda dominating the headlines in the lead-up to the Federal Budget to be handed down in May. Our pre-budget submission reinforced our policy priorities calling for infrastructure funding to substantiate the Government’s upcoming program of city deals (see also our submission to the Smart Cities and Suburbs Program) alongside a renewed focus on opportunities to meet our Paris commitments through the built environment.  

South Australia’s struggles with energy are no secret. New commitments have emerged ahead of Chief Scientist Alan Finkel’s report, paving a long-term pathway to navigate solutions to the trilemma of energy security, affordability and sustainability. Our submission to the Finkel review stands in strong support of the collective recommendations put forward by the Australian Sustainable Built Environment Council.

Our recommendations for reform were further developed in our submission to the Australian Energy Regulator as they consider the Demand Management Incentive Scheme and Innovation Allowance Mechanism.

The Queensland Government has kicked off 2017 with a proactive policy agenda. Get up to speed with our submissions to the Queensland Building Plan, Planning Policy Review and South East Queensland Regional Plan.

In the coming months we will be developing our submission in response to the Federal Government’s  2017 review of climate change policies. The discussion paper is now available, and we encourage all our members to engage with this important review and welcome the breadth and scope of issues to be considered by the Government.

Submissions close on 5 May 2017.

How the West was won

Earlier this month West Australia headed to the polls and the result was an overwhelming mandate to the West Australian Labor Party and Premier Mark McGowan. In the lead up to the election the GBCA urged the people of WA to consider the long-term plan for the state’s sustainable future.

WA has some of the fastest growing areas in Australia and there is an urgent need for the new Government to set a clear long-term plan to manage this growth, and the commitment to building the METRONET is one step in providing the infrastructure to assist these growth areas. West Australia’s Landcorp is already leading by example creating new communities and infill developments that will be future proofed for generations to come through the Green Star – Communities rating tool.

The GBCA applauds the McGowan Government on its commitment to focusing on attracting investment in the renewable energies sector.

We look forward to working with the Hon Mark McGowan, Premier, the Hon Stephen Dawson MLC, Minister for Environment, the Hon Rita Saffioti MLA, Minister for Transport and Minister for Planning and the Hon Ben Wyatt MLA, Minister for Energy, to deliver homes, workplaces and communities that are more affordable, efficient, sustainable and liveable for the people of WA.

Green Star secures grant funding from City of Sydney

City of Sydney is bolstering its support for Green Star accreditation offering incentivised grant funds of up to $10,000 for buildings utilising the Performance rating tool. 40 per cent of CBD office spaces in Australia now hold a Green Star rating, but this number can grow and it relies on the strong leadership demonstrated by City of Sydney and other local governments to bolster their support for sustainability incentives. We’re always open to talking about the best ways to implement Green Star into your business or agenda. Reach out to us to discuss opportunities.

 Green Cities cuts through the density debate

The density debate was hugely topical at this year’s 11th annual conference, as it is in suburb after suburb across metropolitan Australia. The session ‘density done well’ explored in further detail new cultural values, smaller families and a more mobile workforce as key drivers in the shift away from suburbia. But identified that public resistance persists.

You can see the full speech from the Hon Penny Sharpe MLC here as well as a comprehensive Green Cities wrap here.