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NSW Government buildings seize retrofit opportunities

The Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) welcomes the NSW Government’s commitment to improve the energy efficiency of 150 government buildings, announced last week by NSW Minister for the Environment Robyn Parker.

“We congratulate the NSW Government for showing leadership, and encourage it to seek Green Star certification for the buildings it retrofits.  Green Star certification would demonstrate that the money spent on energy efficiency upgrades and other improvements delivers results,” says the GBCA’s Executive Director – Advocacy and Business Services, Robin Mellon.

Hospitals, courthouses, motor registries, fire, ambulance and police stations and disability care facilities are among 150 frontline NSW government buildings to receive energy makeovers as part of a $6.4 million program to improve energy efficiency in the NSW public sector.

Minister Parker has said the Building Retrofit Program will save almost 30,000 megawatt hours of electricity and $5.8 million on water and electricity bills a year, demonstrating the link between environmental and economic sustainability.

“One of the GBCA’s five priorities is ‘visionary government leadership’, and we applaud the NSW Government and Minister Parker for starting to capitalise on the opportunities available,” Mr Mellon says.

“However, more can be done.  We would like to see the NSW Government look beyond energy efficiency, as environmentally-sustainable buildings also encompass other factors including water, waste and indoor environment quality.  By looking holistically at each building, the NSW Government can provide better economic, social and environmental outcomes for the state.

“Other states including South Australia, Queensland and Tasmania have registered public sector projects, such as hospitals and schools, for Green Star ratings, and we call on the NSW Government to follow in these footsteps,” Mr Mellon concludes.