Jobs a winner but new grants scheme leaves homes performance a yet unanswered question

04 Jun 2020

Responding to today’s Commonwealth Government announcement about the HomeBuilder Scheme, intended to stimulate the residential construction sector, Davina Rooney, Chief Executive of Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) said:

“GBCA welcomes the timely introduction of the HomeBuilder Scheme, which will address one of the most pressing issues facing the residential construction sector right now, namely the forward pipeline of new buildings and upgrades that is being compromised by the current market uncertainty.

“The twin headwinds of declining consumer confidence and purchasing power is a significant concern for our economy as new housing and renovations have long been a source of business activity and employment.

“This scheme will give consumers confidence and greater ability to build new housing or renovate their homes, in addition to securing the jobs of hundreds of thousands of Australians.

“The missed opportunity here is in linking what are substantial investments in new homes and renovations with initiatives that deliver greater energy efficiency and resilience for home owners. 

“Explicitly linking these grants to investments and new homes that reduce energy use would have supported businesses and jobs while also helping lower energy bills and deliver better health outcomes for home owners in the longer term. 

 “As we turn to sector-focused strategies for recovery, support for more energy efficient and resilient buildings can bring many win-win opportunities. Around the world we have seen many examples of governments targeting the residential sector with energy efficiency incentives to bounce back from economic crises, to great effect.

“As state and territory governments look at their own stimulus spending, we encourage them to look to multiplying the benefits of this program with additional incentives that encourage further investment in energy efficiency and resilience by home owners as this program is delivered.

“Recently GBCA released a homes strategy to help accelerate the transformation in the residential sector. Through this strategy, and a Green Star standard for homes, we will be working with industry and governments to demonstrate the appetite of Australian companies to take critical action in our residential sector, and deliver homes that are healthy, resilient and net zero energy.”