New integrated ministry a good move

19 Jul 2016

19 JUL 2016

A new ministry that integrates environment and energy will help Australia seize the opportunities of a zero carbon economy, says Australia’s voice for the sustainable built environment industry.

The Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) applauds the appointment of Josh Frydenberg to the position of Minister for Environment and Energy, with Chief Executive Officer Romilly Madew saying it represents the “joined-up thinking” around energy policy that the industry needs.

“When a quarter of our nation’s emissions come from our buildings, and the industry is already working hard to reduce energy consumption across the board, bringing environment and energy together makes smart sense.

“While we understand the concerns of some stakeholders, a fragmented approach hasn’t worked. An integrated approach brings together the ‘big picture’ of meeting climate targets, while investing in clean energy and unlocking the potential of carbon zero economy,” Ms Madew says.

“Importantly, Minister Frydenberg will have greater power to deliver the priorities under the National Energy Productivity Plan. We need a sophisticated and mature approach to energy productivity – and this appointment is a good start.”

The GBCA pays tribute to former Environment Minister Greg Hunt, who moves to Industry, Innovation and Science.

“We enjoyed a productive working relationship with Minister Hunt during his tenure as Environment Minister, and we look forward to working with him on a range of new projects, including raising minimum standards in the National Construction Code.”

Paul Fletcher has been appointed Minister for Urban Infrastructure, and will be responsible for delivering ‘City Deal’ projects such as the Western Sydney airport. Angus Taylor remains the Assistant Minister for Cities and Digital Transformation.

“We have enjoyed constructive engagement with ministers Taylor and Fletcher, and look forward to working with them in the months ahead during the roll out of the Smart Cities Plan, which promises to drive smarter city policy. We are also committed to ensuring sustainability is embedded in the city-building projects outlined during the election campaign.”

The Coalition has committed to new policies to drive sustainability in the built environment, including $100 million for a Sustainable Cities Investment Fund, $50 million for the Smart Cities and Suburbs Program, a City Deal for Western Sydney and an expanded Commercial Building Disclosure scheme to tackle the ‘mid tier’ building sector.

All of these policies address elements of the GBCA’s five-point plan for sustainable buildings, communities and cities.

“We need strong, committed leadership to meet our climate targets, improve our energy productivity, grow our economy and build better cities for all Australians,” Ms Madew concludes.

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