Sustainability a New Federal Election Property Battleground


While the softening property market is seen as the key battleground of the 2019 federal election, climate change is shaping up as a critical issue for policymakers.

Emissions reduction and the sustainability of Australia’s built environment should be policy priorities, the Green Building Council of Australia says.

The council announced its pre-election policy platform on Wednesday, calling on all parties to endorse measures that elevate sustainability in the delivery and design of buildings, communities and cities.

The council has outlined five initiatives it says provides a roadmap for policymakers to address the way we shape our built environment — starting with carbon positive buildings.

Related: Australian Cities Lag Behind in Global Sustainability Index

Healthy, resilient and positive places for people

GBCA Policy RecommendationsInitiativeRecommendations
Initiative oneToward carbon positive buildingsEstablish a plan for net zero emissions buildings by 2050 in line with the GBCA's carbon positive roadmap
Initiative twoStrong government leadershipRemain committed to the Paris Agreement; a national framework addressing energy costs and emissions reduction
Initiative threeA vision for cities and communitiesImplement "Building Up and Moving Out" report; the acceleration of the City Deals program
Initiative fourSmarter infrastructure investmentsDeliver a consistent framework of incentives to leverage the delivery of healthier, productive and sustainable social infrastructure
Initiative fiveAffordable, sustainable housingAdopt a national strategy to promote more affordable, sustainable housing

GBCA’s platform, Healthy, Resilient and Positive Places for People, provides a national roadmap to decarbonise, as well as reforms to improve infrastructure planning and placemaking.

GBCA head of public affairs Jonathan Cartledge said Australia is a showcase for world-leading examples of sustainable buildings.

“We are delivering the world’s best right here in Australia, we just need to do more of it. With these policies we can realise the benefits of sustainability more widely.

“The research is clear. Alongside productivity benefits, there are real hip pocket savings to be made from seeing more of our buildings and communities become more sustainable with a far lighter carbon footprint.”

The council, which rates the sustainability of buildings through its Green Star rating system, represents more than 630 member organisations nationwide.

On average, Green Star-certified buildings produce 62 per cent lower greenhouse gas emissions, using a third of the electricity requirements and half the potable water of other buildings.

The council recently appointed chief executive Davina Rooney, with Rooney’s predecessor, Romilly Madew, taking up the role of CEO of Infrastructure Australia.

Rooney was previously at Stockland, heading up the group’s sustainability initiatives as general manager.

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