02 May 2018
1 May 2018
The impressive social and transport infrastructure investment unveiled in today’s Victorian State Budget will go a long way to meeting the challenge of population growth and ensuring the state’s cities, towns and communities are better connected and supported.
Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) Head of Public Affairs, Jonathan Cartledge, said the budget would help deliver long-term productivity for Victoria, and at the same time created new opportunities to improve sustainability in the delivery of headline projects.
“The GBCA welcomes the Victorian Government’s strong commitment to the liveability of local communities through this major infrastructure investment,” Mr Cartledge said.
“With Melbourne on track to overtake Sydney as Australia’s most populous city, these critical road, public transport, health and education projects can’t be delayed.
“This forward-thinking funding needs to be matched with a future-focused approach to delivery. Designing assets that deliver broad benefits for the community through maximising their efficiency, sustainability and amenity will help provide value for money for this once-in-a-generation spend.
“Let’s make sure that this investment delivers the broadest possible outcomes through design requirements that help maximise learning outcomes for our children in Victoria’s 28 new schools, reduce time spent and improve health outcomes in our hospitals, and realise new productivity through smarter buildings and infrastructure across the state.
“Australia is a world-leader in green buildings, communities and infrastructure. We should capitalise on this expertise in the delivery of these budget measures that will help build communities across Victoria for the next generation.
“Victoria has led the way with projects like the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Wellness Centre but it lags behind NSW in the number of Green Star certified projects 470 to 553.
“Now is the time to forge ahead, and the $5 million in funding to complete planning at Fishermans Bend is a great example of how this can be achieved.
“We are delighted to see $926 million committed to fast-track level crossing removals, something the GBCA has worked closely on with the Level Crossing Removal Authority, whereby all stations re-built as part of the removal of 50 of Victoria’s dangerous level crossings will be Green Star rated.
“In delivering the high quality infrastructure needed for Victoria’s booming population, the Victorian Government has a major responsibility to ensure that these projects realise their full potential in providing social, economic and environmental outcomes that benefit Victorians.
“Beyond making a positive contribution to community wellbeing, productivity and resilience, this also means minimising the environmental impacts of these developments.
“The only real disappointment in this budget was the lack of increased investment beyond the further $1 million set aside to tackle climate change and ensure emissions reduction targets are met across government sectors.
“While we have previously commended the Victorian Government for its Energy Efficiency and Productivity Strategy released in November last year, meeting Victoria’s interim renewable energy target of 25% clean energy by 2020 will require more action and investment in both renewable energy and energy efficiency.
“The $50 cash incentive to encourage households to visit the Government energy comparison website pales in comparison to the huge cost savings more investment in energy efficient building can offer.
“A YouGov Galaxy survey commissioned by The Australian Council of Social Services, Property Council of Australia and the Energy Efficiency Council found that an overwhelming majority of Australian voters believe it is important or very important that governments invest in energy efficiency. 90 per cent of voters surveyed said that it is important for governments to help reduce households and businesses’ energy bills.
“The significant windfalls to government from property taxes should be invested into accelerating programs that deliver benefits to both businesses and the community, such as improved energy affordability and reliability.
“The GBCA is committed to working with the Victorian Government to enhance the value of its ambitious infrastructure package.”