The Federal city-building budget demands a laser-focus on long-term value, the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) said.
GBCA Chief Executive Officer Romilly Madew said the government’s commitments to deliver jobs through infrastructure investments in rail, runways and roads will support better cities and regions across Australia.
“In addition to jobs, the Treasurer’s call for the ‘right infrastructure, in the right place’ should also deliver more sustainable, liveable and resilient communities for all Australians," she said.
The GBCA said that new commitments to increase housing affordability and improve the cost of living, including $75 billion in infrastructure funding over 10 years and a centrepiece $1 billion National Housing Infrastructure Facility to remove infrastructure impediments to developing new homes, were admirable.
“If this budget is about easing cost of living pressures, then it’s important we build communities that are affordable and sustainable over the long term. And that means building smart from the start," Ms Madew said.
“Tax-payers should expect that generational investments in our cities create long-term value and an ongoing return on investment.
"Any new infrastructure should achieve independent third-party certification that confirms that value.”
The Turnbull Government will establish a $10 billion National Rail Programme to deliver rail projects that provide better connections for our cities and regions and create new opportunities to grow our economy.
“Investment in inland rail and suburban transport are essential components of liveable, productive cities, reducing congestion and driving urban renewal," Ms Madew said, and noted that, disappointingly, the budget “appears to defer new funding for policy responding to climate change pending the various policy reviews currently underway.
“The government should not miss the opportunity to capture the benefits of the investments announced tonight, leveraging new commitments in our regions and in infrastructure to help reduce our emissions and build resilience across our communities," she said.
“Ultimately, the government’s commitments in this Budget will be measured by the projects delivered on the ground and the real outcomes delivered and experienced by communities across Australia.
“This is about understanding all the benefits of our infrastructure – it’s potential to deliver long-term jobs, bring communities together, withstand natural and economic shocks, and deliver sustainability for many generations to come."