Premier-elect Daniel Andrews and the Labor Party were voted into the Victorian government over the weekend – a change the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) has viewed as a “golden opportunity” to reclaim Victoria’s status as the greenest state.

“Victoria has the highest number of certified Green Star projects in the country – with 227 Green Star ratings for both public and private buildings. While the number of projects registering to achieve Green Star ratings has dropped in recent years, Victoria now has the opportunity to reclaim its leadership status,” says GBCA’s chief operating officer, Robin Mellon.

“We are encouraged that the Victorian Labor Platform 2014 outlined a strong commitment to sustainability – environmental, social and economic. We look forward to seeing this commitment translate into policies and programs that will deliver better Victorian buildings and communities.

“We were disappointed to see the Napthine Government disband the ‘Greener Government Buildings’ program, which had achieved cost savings of more than $1.2 million a year across 16 key government buildings, as well as a reduction of more than 8,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions. We will be advocating that this program be reinstated.

“We also urge the incoming government to commit to Green Star outcomes for healthcare and education projects, in particular the 13 PPP schools to be built over the next three years.”

Mellon adds that the GBCA is welcoming the opportunity to work with the Andrews Government to ensure more sustainable outcomes for Fishermans Bend – which the previous government failed to commit to a Green Star rating – as well as other urban renewal projects such as Federation Square East.

However, not all changes urged by industry groups are a move from the previous government’s stance. The Property Council of Australia is one that is asking the Labor government to break its promise to scrap the east west link.

“His (Andrews) commitment to tear up the contract for the east west link will create a hole in the state’s infrastructure pipeline, leave congestion unchecked and damage Victoria’s investment credentials. We have urged him to think again,” says the Property Council’s chief executive, Ken Morrison.