Can the Sunshine State be the Sustainable State?

16 Mar 2016

16 MAR 2016

The next crop of mayors and councillors will play a vital role in securing Queensland’s reputation as the sustainable state.

That’s the message from the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA), as the people of Queensland gear up for local elections on Saturday 19 March.
According to the GBCA’s Chief Executive Officer, Romilly Madew, the buildings in which we live and work – and the way in which our cities and neighbourhoods are planned – can have an enormous impact on our economy, our wellbeing and our environment.

“As the level of government closest to the community, councils are best placed to lead by example when it comes to addressing sustainability,” Ms Madew says.

“We’ve identified a range of actions which Queensland’s councils can take to demonstrate their commitment to healthy, productive and resilient buildings and communities – and we encourage voters to consider these when making their decisions on polling day.

“We are currently working with more than 40 local governments across Australia, including Brisbane City Council, City of Gold Coast and Moreton Bay Regional Council in Queensland.

“These councils understand they have a responsibility to their rate payers to build infrastructure that is sustainable – not just to minimise carbon emissions, but also to leave a lasting legacy for their communities.”

The GBCA says candidates and councils can demonstrate leadership in sustainability by achieving independent, third-party Green Star ratings for every council-owned, occupied or operated building. Brisbane City Council and Moreton Bay Regional Council have both achieved Green Star ratings for their civic buildings.

Councils should introduce policies which encourage industry to deliver green buildings, as demonstrated by the City of Gold Coast’s City Plan policy which encourages developers to achieve sustainable outcomes.

The GBCA also calls on councils to work collaboratively to ensure large-scale community developments move beyond minimum regulatory requirements and achieve Green Star – Communities certification. Queensland already boasts three Green Star-rated communities: Ecco Ripley, near Ipswich, Aura at Caloundra South and Brisbane Airport.

“A Green Star rating gives rate payers the confidence that their community’s assets will deliver ongoing operational efficiencies, long-term value and greater resilience,” Ms Madew explains.

“Queensland has some of Australia’s fastest growing regions, and has delivered 215 Green Star projects – from world-class sustainable offices to some of the largest green community developments in the country.

“We urge Queensland voters to maintain this momentum, and to consider whether their local candidates will make the decisions needed to ensure the Sunshine State is also known as the Sustainable State.”

The Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) was established in 2002 to develop a sustainable property industry in Australia and drive the adoption of green building practices through market-based solutions.

Media contact

Karen Jamal
Green Building Council of Australia
Phone: 0412 179 135