Climate action starts at home

26 May 2022

A message from the CEO, Davina Rooney

This was the climate election and Australians have spoken.

For many years, climate change conversations were caught in the theoretical. But the most recent IPCC report – which warned of the catastrophic impacts of emissions if do not act now – was released the same day that Brisbane’s river broke its banks and our third largest city was under water.

The human stories of climate change are being heard around Australia as communities, still struggling from the trauma of the Black Summer Bushfires, are hit with round after round of extreme weather events. In some parts of Australia, if your house is beset with mould (something we explore in this issue of Green Building Voice), you are one of the lucky ones.

The predictions of the past have been validated. The big question for many Australians as they cast their ballot? What will we do about our future?

The Australian Labor Party took a commitment to stronger climate action to the people – and it is this commitment which will shape GBCA’s conversations with the new Albanese Government over the next three years.

We have forged a very strong working relationship with Prime Minister Albanese and his colleagues over many years, especially during his time as Minister for Cities. Mr Albanese understands the complex challenges facing the built environment, and many of the policies he took to the election align with our vision for more liveable, productive and sustainable cities.

I would like to thank outgoing Prime Minister Scott Morrison and ministers of his government for their service over three very challenging years. Their work to set the Trajectory for Low Energy Buildings and support for Every Building Counts will bear fruit in the years ahead.

While the final composition of the House of Representatives and Senate is still taking shape, a more politically-diverse Parliament will drive more nuanced conversations and cross-bench negotiation over the next few years. We are ready to play our role in these conversations. (You can check out the GBCA’s Federal Election Policy Platform to see where our dialogue will start.)

We will continue to work as hard as we always have – but now, as The Fifth Estate put it so aptly this week, with the “concrete boots off”. We hope the task will be easier and the burden between government and industry more evenly shared, allowing us to move further, faster.

With Australia ranked lowest in climate policy across developed nations, now is the time for strong action. It will take time to set the wheels back in motion, but our industry has spent a decade building momentum. As we wait for the new government to shift into gear, there is one way we can move together at speed – towards green homes.

Homes are at the heart of many of Labor’s commitments – whether that’s a promise to help households cut power bills through investment in renewable energy or a five-year $10 billion Housing Australia Future Fund to build 30,000 new social and affordable homes. Our industry translates these policies into real-world projects and this is beautifully illustrated in our latest issue of Green Building Voice.

Read about Commonwealth Bank's new green home offer, which rewards customers taking steps to reduce their environmental footprint with a lower interest rate. A Green Star Homes rating is the easiest way for customers to verify they’ve met CBA’s criteria. When one in four Australian home loans with CBA, we believe this leadership can move the market.

We also take a tour of the new abode of AMP Capital’s Chris Nunn, which boasts Australia’s first Green Star Homes rating and shows us what a comfortable, resilient, electrified home of the future looks like.

As the sector still responsible for nearly a quarter of our emissions and with the lowest-cost, least tapped opportunities, property is the right place to start taking action today. And, as always, action starts at home.