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Parties should commit Queensland to a green building future

The Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) has called on Queensland’s political leaders to maintain their strong commitment to more efficient, productive, resource-friendly and sustainable buildings and communities.

“Both Premier Bligh and Campbell Newman have previously demonstrated their dedication to green buildings and communities.  The question is: what commitments will they both make now to secure Queensland’s sustainable future?” asks Chief Executive of the GBCA, Romilly Madew.

“In his position as Lord Mayor of Brisbane, Campbell Newman supported the development of more efficient, more productive and more sustainable buildings,” Ms Madew says.

“Under Mr Newman’s leadership, Brisbane City Council sponsored the development of the Green Star – Multi Unit Residential v1 rating tool, and supported the creation of many of other rating tools.  The restoration of Brisbane City Hall is registered to achieve a Green Star rating, which reflects the Council’s focus on better outcomes, wiser resource use and more healthy and efficient public buildings,” Ms Madew says.

“Similarly, under Anna Bligh’s direction, the Queensland Government has implemented a range of programs to support a greener, more sustainable built environment.  Through its leadership, the Queensland Government has driven the uptake of Green Star-rated buildings across the state, with almost 100 government and private sector building projects now Green Star-certified,” Ms Madew explains.

Green Star-rated projects in Queensland include countless education projects such as Peregian Springs and Bay View State Schools, and numerous government office projects including the Joint Contact Centre in Zillmere, the Queensland EPA’s Western Region headquarters and the William McCormack Place 2 project in Cairns.

The people of Queensland have also benefited from many projects and programs intended to improve efficiencies, productivity and skills - including the ClimateQ framework, the launch of the Green Door Policy, the commitment to ‘Build it Back Green’ and the announcement of green retrofits for many Queensland Government buildings.

“While Queensland has most certainly been one of Australia’s most sustainable states in recent years, it risks being left behind if it does not continue to implement polices and programs which support sustainable buildings and communities.  In the past few years, we have seen Tasmania promise that all new building works undertaken for schools, hospitals and community health centres will meet 5 Star Green Star benchmarks.  Similarly, South Australia has committed to achieving Green Star benchmarks for major projects, such as the New Royal Adelaide Hospital, following the success of the 5 Star Green Star-certified Flinders Medical Centre’s New South Wing.

The GBCA’s five advocacy priorities are for governments to:

  1. Provide visionary government leadership by committing to achieving Green Star certification for projects and providing incentives for green buildings and communities
  2. Retrofit and improve existing buildings by supporting the Green Star – Performance rating tool
  3. Green education and healthcare facilities by using the Green Star – Education and Healthcare rating tools
  4. Move beyond buildings to communities and cities by supporting the Green Star – Communities rating tool
  5. Embed green skills across all industry training by encouraging understanding of green building benefits.

“How will Queensland secure its position as a sustainable state?  The first step would be a commitment to all of Queensland’s new schools, hospitals and government offices from 2013 onwards achieving Green Star certification. We look forward to hearing both Premier Bligh and Campbell Newman outline commitments to a better built environment between now and the election on 24 March,” Ms Madew concludes.