Budget surplus at the expense of Australia's green future
Australia’s low carbon economy is taking a step backwards, with the Tax Breaks for Green Buildings program scrapped from the Federal Budget.
“The decision to scrap the Tax Breaks for Green Buildings program is extremely disappointing,” says the Chief Executive of the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA), Romilly Madew.
“The Gillard Government is backing away from a 2010 election promise and abandoning its commitment to provide incentives for green buildings,” Ms Madew says.
The $1 billion retrofitting program was expected to provide an incentive for businesses that invest in eligible assets or capital works to improve the energy efficiency of their existing buildings. The Tax Breaks program was promised as part of a package of measures to complement the carbon price.
“Buildings represent the fastest, most cost-effective opportunity to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions. The Tax Breaks for Green Buildings program was an essential component of the package of complementary measures designed to drive energy and material efficiencies within the built environment. Without this program, the greatest opportunity to improve energy efficiency, at the least cost, will be missed,” Ms Madew adds.
“The decision to scrap the Tax Breaks program is particularly bewildering, coming as it does at a time when Australia’s future green economy is a high priority. The scheme would have delivered triple bottom line advantages and helped the retail, hotel and commercial office sectors when confidence is low. It would have delivered jobs, green buildings and a sustainable future.
“Despite the hours of consultation, the willingness of the industry to provide input, and the goodwill generated by non-government and private sector organisations, the Australian Government has cowardly chosen to renege on its commitment,” Ms Madew says.
Green Building Council of Australia
Phone: 0412 179 135
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