The Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) has urged all political
parties in New South Wales to ‘seize the sustainability agenda’ ahead of the
polls. All political parties are being asked to outline their policies to deliver
liveable, sustainable and resilient buildings and communities for the people of
According to the GBCA’s Chief Executive Officer, Romilly Madew, NSW
currently boasts 197 Green Star-rated buildings including commercial
skyscrapers, suburban shopping centres, university facilities and public housing
developments. The state is second only to Victoria in terms of Green Star
ratings achieved, and has the opportunity to take the top position with the
right policies and visionary government leadership.
Madew observes that unfortunately, not one of the 197 Green
Star-certified buildings in NSW is a state government building. Citing the
initiatives taken by the Victorian, South Australian and ACT Governments in
rating different types of buildings, she called on all NSW parties to commit to
sustainable, productive and cost-effective buildings and communities.
For instance, the Victorian Government has rated a range of building
types from offices and farmers markets, through to conference centres and
railway stations. The South Australian Government is rating its hospitals and community-scale
developments, and the ACT Government is focused on schools and new communities.
The GBCA’s advocacy agenda outlines three clear government-led
initiatives that can strengthen NSW’s property and construction industry and
improve the efficiency, productivity and long-term sustainability of the
State’s buildings, communities and cities.
Certify new and existing
buildings using Green Star
Based on the premise that Government leadership encourages the market to
meet higher benchmarks for better buildings, the GBCA calls on all parties to
commit to achieving Green Star certification for government-owned, occupied and
Encourage industry to move
beyond standard practice
The Government should extend financial and non-financial incentives including
training, capacity building, awareness-raising and environmental upgrade
agreements to help NSW building owners and the broader industry to move beyond standard
practice and accelerate upgrades of existing buildings. The GBCA also calls on
the incoming government to encourage the uptake of rating tools such as Green
Star Performance and NABERS Energy and NABERS Water as a way to benchmark and
identify opportunities for incremental improvement.
Create better communities across
The GBCA urges all political parties to make an ongoing commitment to Green
Star – Communities by referencing the rating tool and national framework in
policies and planning strategies. Achieving Green Star – Communities
certification for government-controlled projects will ensure all new community-scale
developments across NSW are good for people now, and in the future.
Madew concludes that a renewed commitment to sustainability can help
the next NSW Government meet a range of economic, social and environmental
priorities, securing a better future for everyone in the state.