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Where are the costed policies and incentives for Australia's buildings, communities and cities?

“We’re still waiting” is the message from the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA), as it calls on all political parties to outline their costed policies and incentives for Australia’s buildings, communities and cities.

“During this election campaign, we have provided all political parties with our three-point plan for better buildings, communities and cities,” says the GBCA’s Chief Operating Officer, Robin Mellon.

“This plan details how visionary government leadership, retrofitting and improving existing buildings and upscaling solutions from building to communities can secure a more productive, resilient and sustainable Australia.

“We have outlined why improving the performance of Australia’s buildings can deliver economic, social and environmental benefits.

“We revealed that a modest 10 per cent improvement in energy efficiency of federal government buildings – far below the 66 per cent average improvement recorded by Green Star-rated buildings around Australia – could save $35 million a year in electricity costs alone. 

“We demonstrated how improving the performance of the federal government’s building stock has the potential to boost public sector productivity by almost $2 billion a year, based on productivity gains achieved in Green Star-rated buildings around the country.

“And we outlined the policy solutions and leadership required to ensure our cities and communities are more liveable, productive, sustainable and resilient places in the Asian Century. 

“We called on all political parties to share the commitments and policies that will support our buildings, communities and cities.  We’ve waited patiently for costed policies – and we are still waiting.

“In the last few years, we’ve seen the Green Building Fund wound up and the Tax Breaks for Green Buildings program axed before it even began.  We’ve been promised funding through the Clean Energy Finance Corporation for green buildings – but we’re yet to see a single funded project materialise. Neither the Government nor the Opposition has announced any new initiatives that will lead to more efficient, healthy or productive buildings, nor has either party made a commitment to lead by example and improve the performance of the Australian Government’s own buildings.

“Improving the performance of our buildings is not simply a matter of doling out cash.  We need a range of financial and non-financial incentives that can activate the market for more efficient, productive, healthy buildings.  The private sector has shown great leadership and commitment to better buildings.  We need our political leaders to show that same commitment,” Mr Mellon concludes. “How long must we wait?”

Download the Green Building Council of Australia's three-point plan for better buildings and communities.