12 Oct 2020
Last week, the Government delivered a budget to accelerate Australia’s recovery from the economic effects of COVID-19. Much has been written and said about the sizeable investment it makes in regrowing our economy, with multi-billion-dollar investments in transport infrastructure, incentives for businesses and tax cuts to boost consumer confidence and drive spending.
While Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) supports the scale and importance of these stimulus measures, our response notes that much work is left if we want to secure long-term growth and liveability. GBCA has long argued for a recovery that delivers for our communities and the environment – one that seizes the opportunities found in high performing, sustainable buildings and infrastructure. This means leveraging more public value from the investments which we saw announced in the Budget, and from the projects which are being fast-tracked in every State and Territory. With the built environment deeply integrated into the fabric of our economy, more and better buildings means more growth, more jobs and more liveable and prosperous communities.
Senior Manager – Policy and Government Relations
Following the Government’s investment package in future technologies to lower emissions last month, GBCA has welcomed the funding directed towards energy efficiency in households and commercial buildings, and the continued support for ARENA and the CEFC, which includes ongoing funding and an expansion to ARENA’s investment mandate.
Brisbane City Council recently launched its Green Buildings Incentive Policy, which encourages the development of more sustainable, energy efficient buildings through a 50% rebate on infrastructure charges paid for council networks. Eligible developments will need to demonstrate compliance against a range of design and sustainability criteria, such as the achievement of a 5 star Green Star rating from GBCA.
In the lead up to elections in Queensland and the ACT, GBCA has directed its advocacy efforts to improving the built environment sustainability platforms of contesting parties.
For both jurisdictions, we have identified key opportunities that would work within existing frameworks to complement current policy initiatives. Recommendations include:
• leveraging social infrastructure to support economic “bounce back” and broader environmental outcomes
• supporting residential and commercial building energy efficiency through co-funding upgrade schemes
• leading by example by upgrading government buildings.
We look forward to continuing our efforts to encourage the adoption of these policies that would support emissions reductions and drive economic stimulus.
In case you missed it, we celebrated this year’s World Green Building Week (21-25 September) by showcasing partners and strategic projects that accelerate our journey to net zero. Highlights include our CEO Davina Rooney’s interview with signatories of the Global Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment, 5 minutes with Sandra Qian, Senior Manager – Policy and Government Relations on how Green Star drives value for governments and a podcast featuring our Tim Wheeler our Policy Manager and Coral Bravo from ClimateWorks Australia discussing the Net Zero Momentum Tracker project.
GBCA is pleased to regularly invite editorials from our elected representatives across Australia. With the State Election in the ACT approaching, we recently heard from Shane Rattenbury, Minister for Climate Change and Sustainability since 2016. Minister Rattenbury discusses how the ACT is tracking in their net zero ambitions and shares his perspectives on the opportunities and challenges for the built environment and energy sector in the years ahead.