The Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) has released a five-point election platform to help the next Federal Government shape the country’s cities and communities.
Healthy, Resilient and Positive Places for People includes a plan for carbon positive buildings, a vision for cities and communities, smarter infrastructure investment and a strategy for affordable, sustainable housing.
It also includes a call for strong government leadership by maintaining the commitment to the Paris Agreement, negotiating a national energy framework or elevating performance requirements in government tenancies.
The five initiatives are as follows:
Towards Carbon Positive buildings
- Establish a plan for net zero emissions buildings by 2050 in line with the GBCA’s Carbon Positive Roadmap
- Strengthen energy efficiency requirements for the National Construction Code in line with Built to Perform
- Accelerate improvements to the mid-tier office buildings sector and overcome sector specific impediments
Strong government leadership
- Remain committed to Australia’s participation in the Paris Agreement
- Promote stability in Australia’s energy future through a national framework addressing energy costs, security and emissions reduction
- Increase support for sustainable finance and funding
- Lift performance requirements in government tenancies through the Energy Efficiency in Government Operations policy
A vision for cities and communities
- Implement the recommendations made in the report Building Up and Moving Out
- Resource the acceleration of the City Deals program by investing in better governance, benchmarking and measurement for priority infrastructure
- Commit to a more integrated model of transport infrastructure planning and delivery
Smarter infrastructure investments
- Develop a consistent framework of incentives to leverage the delivery of healthier, productive and sustainable social infrastructure
Affordable, sustainable housing
- Adopt a national strategy to promote more affordable, sustainable housing
- Encourage best practice design and construction in social housing by providing finance for market leading energy efficient projects through the CEFC
After a summer of record-breaking temperatures, the latest Ipsos Issues Monitor, Australia’s longest running survey of community concerns, has found nearly a quarter of voters put climate and environment among their top four concerns.
Climate change is emerging as a priority policy issue ahead of the federal election on 18 May.
In its policy paper, the GBCA argues that with a renewed focus on climate change, the built environment will play a central role in our nation’s future.
The council said that healthy, resilient and sustainable places are the heart of every strong society and every thriving city – and should therefore be top-of-mind for all politicians out on the hustings.
Improving the energy efficiency of Australia’s buildings is still among the most cost-effective ways to drive down emissions and enhance energy productivity.
The GBCA said that addressing the energy trilemma of cost, reliability and emissions reduction is impossible without an integrated, long-term plan for our national energy market.
According to ASBEC’s Low Carbon, High Performance report, government-occupied buildings alone represent 14 per cent of the built environment’s emissions reductions opportunities.
With the right policies, regulatory settings and incentives, the GBCA said Australia can achieve more than a quarter of the national emissions target while delivering almost $20 billion in savings.
Read GBCA’s federal election platform here.