Lowest of the low hanging fruit remains dangling
Scrapping the promised $1 billion Tax Breaks for Green Buildings program would prevent Australia from picking the ‘lowest of the low hanging fruit’, says the nation’s leading green building organisation.
With just days before the budget announcement, no legislation has been introduced to support the start of the Tax Breaks for Green Buildings program.
“Buildings represent the fastest, most cost-effective opportunity to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions. They are truly the lowest of the low-hanging fruit,” says the Chief Executive of the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA), Romilly Madew.
“The Green Building Council of Australia was supportive of the Australian Government’s decision to put a price on pollution, because we understood it would be supported by a range of complementary measures to support energy and material efficiencies within the property and construction industry,” Ms Madew says.
“The Tax Breaks for Green Buildings program is an essential component in this package of complementary measures. Without this program, the greatest opportunity to improve energy efficiency, at the least cost, will be missed,” Ms Madew adds.
The program, a 2010 election commitment of the Gillard Government, would provide an incentive for businesses that invest in eligible assets or capital works to improve the energy efficiency of their existing buildings.
The incentive would enable businesses to claim a one-off bonus tax deduction of 50 per cent of the cost of the eligible assets or capital works. The scheme was expected to commence from 1 July 2011, but was postponed following extensive industry consultation, with the Australian Government committing to a 1 July 2012 start date.
“The industry has been calling for – and has been promised – incentives and tax breaks for green buildings for a long time,” Ms Madew says.
“We have patiently waited for the scheme to be implemented, despite delays, because we believe it is essential for the program to be accessible to the widest possible number of buildings.
“The $1 billion promised will do more than reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Research from Davis Langdon has found that retrofitting a significant quantity of commercial stock will support the growth of green skills and has the potential to create jobs for more than 10,000 people in the building and construction industry.
“The property and construction industry has demonstrated its strong commitment to greening the built environment. We understand that we must strike a balance between regulation and incentives. However, if the ‘carrot’ of the Tax Breaks program is removed, industry is left with only the ‘stick’,” Ms Madew concludes.
Green Building Council of Australia
Phone: 0412 179 135
In This Section
- Will the Gold Coast Commonweath Games deliver a lasting legacy?Thu 16 May 2013
- There's a tiny little light at the end of the tunnel for Australia's urban infrastructureWed 15 May 2013
- Green Star rating tool for public buildings helps keep budgets in the blackTue 14 May 2013
- Start of a new, national conversation about a sustainable AustraliaThu 9 May 2013
- A new deal for urban infrastructureThu 2 May 2013
- Community engagement the key to better citiesThu 18 Apr 2013
- New WA Department for Communities a welcome stepFri 12 Apr 2013
- Melbourne leads the nation in sustainable planning, but the 20-minute city may remain a dreamWed 10 Apr 2013
- HASSELL studio set to achieve Australia's newest Green Star ratingThu 28 Mar 2013
- First Queensland project signs up for Green Star - CommunitiesWed 13 Mar 2013