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New government a golden opportunity to recommit to green

The new government is a golden opportunity for Victoria to reclaim its status as the greenest state, says the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA).

“We congratulate the premier-elect Daniel Andrews and the Labor Party for the election victory on Saturday,” says the GBCA’s Chief Operating Officer, Robin Mellon.

“Victoria has the highest number of certified Green Star projects in the country – with 227 Green Star ratings for both public and private buildings.  While the number of projects registering to achieve Green Star ratings has dropped in recent years, Victoria now has the opportunity to reclaim its leadership status.

“We are encouraged that the Victorian Labor Platform 2014 outlined a strong commitment to sustainability –environmental, social and economic.  We look forward to seeing this commitment translate into policies and programs that will deliver better Victorian buildings and communities.

“We were disappointed to see the Napthine Government disband the ‘Greener Government Buildings’ program, which had achieved cost savings of more than $1.2 million a year across 16 key government buildings, as well as a reduction of more than 8,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions.  We will be advocating that this program be reinstated.

“We also urge the incoming government to commit to Green Star outcomes for healthcare and education projects, in particular the 13 PPP schools to be built over the next three years.

“Government leadership encourages the market to meet higher benchmarks for better buildings – more efficient, healthy, productive and resilient places in which to live, work, learn or heal.

“We also welcome the opportunity to work with the Andrews Government to ensure more sustainable outcomes for Fishermans Bend, as well as other urban renewal projects such as Federation Square East.

“Fishermans Bend represents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to deliver an efficient, productive, sustainable community that will be home to 80,000 Victorians.  The Napthine Government’s failure to commit to a Green Star rating was a massive missed opportunity – one that we will be looking to the new government to rectify.

“Boosting the sustainability and the efficiency of Victoria’s buildings and communities can deliver a range of economic, social and environmental benefits – from reduced costs to improved occupant productivity, health and wellbeing.  We look forward to working with the Andrews Government to help Victorians build a more sustainable future,” Mr Mellon concludes.