Policy Snapshot - November 2020

12 Nov 2020

Last week Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) reached a key milestone – we launched Green Star Buildings, the first of our Future Focus tools suite, following a two year consultation period.

The online launch event, which saw over 750 people tune in from across Australia and around the world was a promising sign of our sector’s appetite to collectively act on the net zero transition during this critical time.

Green Star Buildings is a holistic tool that prioritises the built environment’s response to the Paris Agreement targets, by setting buildings on the net zero path – defined as fully electric, fossil fuel free and 100% powered by renewables.

Emissions reduction is a shared responsibility for our sector, requiring collaboration between industry and government. Through this update, Green Star will be well positioned to continue driving industry leadership, but wide-scale change is only possible with dedicated government commitment and policy action – a key reminder as the dust settles on the recent spate of elections in Australia and around the world.

Learn more about the new tool and in case you missed it, watch the recording of the launch here.

Kind regards,

Sandra Qian

Senior Manager – Policy and Government Relations 

SA invests in better government buildings

GBCA has welcomed today’s announcement by the South Australian Government of $60 million over two years to improve energy efficiency in government buildings, the biggest per-capita stimulus investment of any Australian Government for improving energy efficiency of public buildings. We have been advocating for SA government leadership in public buildings with our industry partners as part of our recommendations for a green buildings-led economic recovery. We congratulate the Government on its achievement.

Bushfire Royal Commission releases findings

The long-awaited report from the Bushfire Royal Commission has been handed down, noting a stark warning that Australia must prepare for a future of compounding and worsening natural disasters. The report acknowledges the role of climate change in driving the force and frequency of these disasters and dives into detail on 80 recommendations designed to improve our natural disaster resilience and management capability. Several of the recommendations are well aligned with GBCA’s submission to the inquiry, including the recommendation for an evaluation as to whether the NCC should specifically include as an objective, natural hazard resilience. We welcome these important findings and urge governments to respond meaningfully and urgently.

Read the report

QLD Election Result

Last month Queenslanders headed to the polls and the result was a strong mandate to the ALP and Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk. Leading up to the election, GBCA urged both parties to consider a long-term plan for stimulating the economy and driving sustainability in the built environment. In its response, the Government committed to several welcome initiatives, including the development of a post-2020 Climate Action Plan, improving the efficiency of public housing, and continued investment in renewable energy. We congratulate the Palaszczuk Government on the election outcome, and will engage with key policymakers on these and other critical policy issues leading up to the QLD Budget later this year.

Read the response

GBCA welcomes new ACT cabinet

Following on its success in the recent State Election, the ACT Labor-Greens coalition government unveiled its new Cabinet earlier this week. Pleasingly, several of the portfolios in the expanded nine-member cabinet reflect the Government’s stated commitment to emissions reduction as an ongoing priority. We look forward to working with Minister Rattenbury and Minister Vassarotti to realise the Government’s ambitious commitments in the built environment sector, and welcome the alignment of the new Climate Action portfolio with that of Economic Development under Chief Minister and Treasurer Andrew Barr.

Building Confidence Recommendations Policy Response

The Australian Sustainable Built Environment Council (ASBEC) is calling on state and territory governments to protect consumers by making changes to the way building compliance is enforced. In a policy response to the Building Confidence Report (BCR) authored by Peter Shergold and Bronwyn Weir, ASBEC has made a number of suggestions for advancing the BCR recommendations that specifically address issues related to building sustainability and energy efficiency.

Read the response

Insights into Green Star for Government

From business case to implementation, how is Green Star being applied to major projects around Australia? On 7 December, tune in to our online session on Green Star for government, in which guest speakers from Transport for NSW, Landcom and the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services will share their experiences of using Green Star for business case development, concept design, procurement, implementation and reporting. Please note: This event is complimentary for government employees – please select the ‘Government Admissions’ ticket when registering.

Register here