Our policy priorities

State Government Office, VIC. Grocon Developments. 6 Star Green Star - Office As Built v3.

Every building counts

In their latest report, ‘Every Building Counts’, the Property Council of Australia and the Green Building Council of Australia are calling on governments to shape a green, healthier, and more equitable built environment. The report outlines 39 recommendations across eight themes to help Australia achieve its decarbonisation goals. In Australia, the built environment accounts for over 50% of the country’s electricity and almost 25% of emissions. However, our property sector is a global leader in sustainability and so we are well positioned to deliver high-impact, but cost-effective ways of reducing carbon and improving energy performance.

Read the report

Our policy priorities are:

  • carbon positive buildings 
  • strong government leadership 
  • realising our vision for cities and communities 
  • smarter infrastructure investments 
  • affordable, sustainable housing

Carbon positive buildings 

Buildings are a major energy consumer, and their operation contributes almost a quarter of our national greenhouse gas emissions. However, the sector has greater opportunities and lower costs to decarbonise than other industries, and can help Australia's transition to a low carbon future consistent with our commitments under the Paris Agreement.

We support:

  • a plan for net zero emissions buildings by 2050, with interim targets for emissions and energy performance, supporting policy frameworks and coordinated action across different levels of government as well as a process for reporting on progress
  • a National Construction Code that is zero carbon ready, with a forward plan for energy efficiency improvements to 2030 starting with a step-change in residential requirements in the 2022 Code
  • accelerated action on mid-tier buildings, by leveraging the success of the Commercial Building Disclosure program, incentivising building upgrades, and investing in research. 

Strong government leadership 

Government leadership through the right policy settings can provide industry with the certainty to commit to a low emissions future, plan for the long-term, and innovate through new design and construction practices, technologies and business models.

We support:

  • a long-term national energy policy framework that prioritises affordability, reliability and emissions reduction
  • setting stronger standards for government owned and tenanted buildings through standards for new buildings and fitouts as well as onsite energy performance
  • continued investment into sustainable finance and funding, including through increased support of the Clean Energy Finance Corporation and the Australian Renewable Energy Agency. 

Realising our vision for cities and communities 

Australia relies on livable, productive and sustainable cities for our growth and prosperity. All governments have unique roles and responsibilities to help shape the future of our communities and cities through integrated planning and solutions that boost productivity, support better governance and realise co-benefits across our infrastructure investments. 
We support:  

  • acceleration of the City Deals program to support better governance for improved decision making, ongoing investment for long-term integrated planning and sustainable development, measurement through the National City Performance Framework and the application of robust, independent certification and rating tools such as Green Star
  • building government capability in integrating transport infrastructure planning with land use planning, and ensuring this objective is reflected in government’s own priorities for infrastructure investment
  • implementation of findings from the federal Inquiry into the role of Australian governments in the development of cities, tabled in the report Building Up and Moving Out. 

Smarter infrastructure investments 

Social infrastructure encompasses community shaping projects in the areas of healthcare, education, transport oriented urban regeneration as well as community, sporting and cultural facilities that help build the fabric of our cities and have long term impacts on the way we live. These investments represent considerable opportunities to deliver value for the tax-payer across portfolios.

We support:

  • procurement reform through more balanced business cases to realise better value from our infrastructure investments across portfolios
  • more effective communication of the broader social, environment and economic benefits of effectively designed and procured social infrastructure across our cities. 

Affordable, sustainable housing 

The quality of life for Australians is defined by the quality of their homes. Whilst poor affordability and quality of housing in Australia can be attributed to a range of supply and demand factors, there is broad recognition that overcoming these issues requires the support and mobilisation of Australia’s property and construction sector.

We support:

  • a national housing strategy that promotes affordable and sustainable housing supply to meet existing and forecast demand. The strategy should have regard to challenges around planning for housing diversity and supply, funding and delivering infrastructure, sustainability and innovation, and effective community engagement
  • adoption of the Australian Sustainable Environment Council’s (ASBEC) Sustainable Homes Transition Roadmap to enable the construction industry to innovate and grow their capacity and skills to satisfy the need for new jobs.
Download Policy Priorities brochure

Building to Bounce Back

As governments move to create jobs and support local businesses through infrastructure investment across the country, it's imperative that this stimulus should also build a better, healthier Australia. We have released a policy statement outlining the benefits of a reform agenda that maximises the potential from future construction and reconstruction projects. Read through our Building to Bounce Back call to action paper here.

Read the paper

Building Efficiency for Jobs and Growth

Buildings present a significant – and largely untapped – opportunity for an energy efficiency driven rebound. As governments move to mobilise the sector, support for energy efficient buildings can provide an effective boost of economic activity and increased labour demand, while delivering on a number of policy objectives. Read our joint policy recommendations for economic stimulus and long term recovery here.

Read the paper

Be in the know

Stay up to date with our advocacy efforts by signing up for our Policy snapshot newsletter. You can opt in as you create an account or when you edit your profile.

Join our mailing list View previous editions of Policy snapshot