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Green schools and hospitals for Tasmanians

Australia's leading green building organisation applauds the Tasmanian Government's commitment to meet Green Star benchmarks for every new school, hospital and health centre in the state.

The Tasmanian Minister for Climate Change, Cassy O'Connor, released Tasmania's Action Plan to Reduce Emissions last week, which outlines the government's immediate priority plan for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

"We are delighted to see the Tasmanian Government adopt new measures to improve the energy efficiency of its buildings, particularly the promise that all new building works undertaken for schools, hospitals and community health centres will meet Five Star Green Star benchmarks," says Chief Executive of the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA), Romilly Madew.

"We are also delighted to learn that certain flagship buildings, such as the Sustainability Learning Centre planned for Mount Nelson, will be targeting world leadership benchmarks and 6 Six Star Green Star rating."

Tasmania now joins Victoria and South Australia as states demonstrating a firm commitment to achieving Green Star environmental ratings for specific areas of their portfolios.

"By committing to achieve both best practice benchmarks and certified ratings for public sector buildings such as education and healthcare facilities, the government will encourage better outcomes. This commitment will also foster green skills development in the state and ensure the people of Tasmania gain infrastructure that is not only environmentally sustainable, but also cheaper to operate, healthier, more productive and a better long-term investment," Ms Madew adds.

Minister for Climate Change, Cassy O'Connor said that the Tasmania Government is committed to implementing 5 Star Green Star benchmarks for all new schools, hospitals and community health centres, and where possible apply these standards to major renovations.

"This is a key priority of Tasmania's Action Plan to Reduce Emissions, which is essential for preparing for the long-term health and well-being of our communities, our economy and our environment," Ms O'Connor said.

"We are also about to open a new multi unit affordable housing development in Tasmania, that we are submitting for certification for 5 Star under the Green Star rating system.

"If successful, this will be a first for Tasmania and further demonstrates the Government's commitment to environmentally sustainable design for affordable housing."

Green Star rating tools already exist for education and healthcare facilities. There are currently 24 Green Star rated education facilities around Australia, with a further 70 registered to achieve Green Star ratings. A Green Star Communities rating tool is currently under development.

The GBCA recently awarded the first Green Star - Healthcare v1 rating to the Flinders Medical Centre's New South Wing in South Australia.

"The GBCA's 'green building agenda' spells out our priorities for the next two years and top of the list is 'visionary government leadership'. The leadership shown by the Tasmanian Government is exactly what we have been seeking, and we look forward to working closely with the Minister for Climate Change and her colleagues to assess how the Green Star suite of rating tools can support this action plan," Ms Madew concludes.