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Efficient, healthy and productive buildings a priority for Tasmanians

With the people of Tasmania heading to the polls on 15 March, the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) has called on all political parties to outline the policies and programs that will place the state on a clear, long-term pathway to sustainability and strengthen their commitment to more efficient, healthy and productive buildings and communities.

A survey of Tasmanian residents conducted by the Online Research Unit on behalf of the GBCA earlier this month found that 100 per cent of people believe it is important for the state’s hospitals and schools to be efficient, healthy and cost effective. 

Eighty-five per cent of Tasmanians think it is important that children learn in green schools, while 89 per cent think it is important that patients and staff are in green healthcare facilities.  Eighty-three per cent think it is important for government employees to work in green offices.

“Clearly, Tasmanians want their buildings to be green.  We need the state’s political leaders to outline the policies and programs that will support the shift to sustainable buildings – because they don’t have to cost any more than business-as-usual,” says the GBCA’s Chief Operating Officer, Robin Mellon.

Tasmania currently has 23 Green Star-rated building projects, including a number of government schools. 

“The Tasmanian Government has shown true leadership by starting to provide more healthy and sustainable learning spaces for children, staff and teachers.  We challenge all political candidates to replicate this leadership across the entire portfolio of government buildings – including offices, healthcare facilities and public buildings,” Mr Mellon says.

“Improving the performance of Tasmania’s buildings can deliver a range of economic, social and environmental benefits – from reduced costs to improved occupant productivity, health and wellbeing.  A commitment to efficient buildings also demonstrates fiscal responsibility with taxpayer dollars,” Mr Mellon explains.

“Australia now has many examples of Green Star-rated projects that have improved worker productivity by up to 15 per cent. With the Tasmanian Government wages bill reaching $2.047 billion in the 2012-13 financial year, accommodating the state’s public service workers in more healthy, productive, sustainable working environments could realise a boost to public sector productivity worth more than $200 million annually,” Mr Mellon explains.

“We know that efficient, healthy, productive buildings are important to the people of Tasmania.  We need our political leaders to demonstrate their commitment to delivering more efficient, healthier and more productive buildings.  The people of Tasmania deserve no less,” Mr Mellon concludes.