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Regulation repeal must make it easier to do better

The Abbott Government’s ‘Red Tape Repeal Day’ should be a chance to streamline processes but must not be an opportunity to wind back environmental safeguards or lower minimum standards, says the nation’s authority on green building.

As the Australian Government introduces legislation to scrap more than 10,500 “unnecessary or counterproductive pieces of legislation and regulations'' today, the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) says that changes to regulation must help rather than hinder industry to deliver better quality, more efficient buildings and communities.

“We want the Australian Government to make changes that reduce costs and confusion for business and streamline approvals – but to do so without lowering environmental standards or removing safeguards,” says the GBCA’s Chief Operating Officer, Robin Mellon.

“Australia needs legislation and regulation that underpin continuous improvement in industry practices.  The Australian property and construction industry has been a world-leader over the past decade and we have witnessed remarkable innovation and rapid improvement in the way we design, construct, operate and maintain buildings that use fewer resources, have a lower impact on the environment and improve the health, wellbeing and productivity of building occupants.

“As the property and construction industry challenges itself to move beyond minimum practice, it is also generating high-value jobs and increasing Australia’s international competitiveness.

“We must continue to nurture a culture that rewards businesses that go beyond minimum requirements to deliver high-performing buildings and more productive, liveable, sustainable and resilient communities and cities.

“Well-designed regulation that protects the health of the environment and the health of people should not be viewed as ‘green tape’, but as a foundation for sustainable business practices,” Mr Mellon concludes.