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Just how efficient can NSW Government offices become?

The invitation by New South Wales (NSW) Minister for Finance and Services, Andrew Constance, to private sector firms to express their interest in managing the state government’s office accommodation has been welcomed by the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA).

The NSW Government will draw on the expertise of industry in an effort to deliver more efficient and transparent building management and a better deal for NSW taxpayers, who are currently footing the $7 million annual bill for the management of public sector offices across the state.

“The capacity of the private sector to deliver greater operational efficiencies and better, more sustainable work environments is proven, and engaging specialist firms in the management of the government’s 830-plus freehold and leasehold properties is an important demonstration of leadership when it comes to efficiency and transparency, as well as the health and wellbeing of public sector workers,” says the GBCA’s Chief Operating Officer, Robin Mellon.

“Effective partnerships between government and industry are already reaping real rewards when it comes to the operational performance of buildings in New South Wales, with the members of the City of Sydney’s Better Buildings Partnership now saving more than $25 million a year on their electricity bills thanks to the program’s efficiency initiatives.”

Data released in September by the Partnership, which includes the owners of more than half the commercial office space in the Sydney CBD, showed that members have reduced their buildings' emissions by an average of three per cent each year from 2005/6, despite a 14 per cent increase in the amount of space leased over the same period.

“Trusted, transparent measurement is the first step on the road to better building performance, and we urge the NSW Government to commit to assessing its portfolio’s operational efficiency on an ongoing basis using the Green Star – Performance rating tool, which is due for release at the Sydney Opera House on Thursday 10 October 2013,” says Mr Mellon.

Green Star – Performance assesses the operational performance of buildings over time, allowing building owners and managers to identify opportunities for improvement and make informed decisions about how to generate greater efficiencies.

“Green Star – Performance prioritises cooperation between building owners, users and managers and assesses buildings against a range of impact categories including energy, water, emissions and indoor environment quality. By using the rating tool, the NSW Government will be able to identify opportunities for energy, water and greenhouse gas emissions savings, reduce operating costs, and create healthier work environments that could significantly boost the productivity of thousands of its employees.”

“We congratulate the NSW Government on its leadership and look forward to working with the Department of Finance and Services and all private sector contractors with whom the government may partner to deliver a better deal for the environment, taxpayers and public sector workers of NSW through Green Star – Performance,” Mr Mellon concludes.