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    Queensland Government to reclaim sustainable state reputation, says GBCA

    Geraldine Chua

    Industry organisations have welcomed the new Queensland Palaszczuk government, with the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) saying that it is poised to “reset the state’s sustainability agenda and deliver buildings and communities that are healthy, productive and efficient”.

    “In the lead-up to the Queensland election, the Labor Party advised us that any government it formed would ‘commit to working towards achieving Green Star ratings for government-owned buildings’ and would audit Queensland Government accommodation to determine ‘where the best value for money improvements can be made’,” says GBCA’s chief executive officer, Romilly Madew.

    “The Labor Party has also committed to work with industry to encourage the uptake of sustainability practices.

    “Many of Queensland’s great strides forward in recent years have been the result of private sector vision and investment, and we acknowledge the achievements of our member companies, and of projects such as Brisbane Airport, which achieved the first Green Star – Communities rating last year.

    “We are delighted that the Palaszczuk Government is keen to review, refine and reinstate policies that support more sustainable building practices, and we will be pushing for the reintroduction of ‘green door’ policies and incentives.”

    A GBCA statement claims that a survey conducted last year found that 88 per cent of Queenslanders think it is important that children learn in green schools, and for healthcare facilities to be green. It acknowledged the former Labor Government of Queensland, whose leadership “resulted in seven Green Star-rated schools.”

    “Similarly, two hospitals – Weipa Integrated Health Services and the Sunshine Coast University Hospital project – have been influenced by Green Star. We are keen to collaborate with the new government to reinvigorate this commitment to healthy, productive, efficient and resilient learning and healthcare facilities across the state,” says Madew.

    The Australian Sustainable Built Environmental Council (ASBEC) has also welcomed the ALP’s commitment to ensure planning schemes address the risk of natural disasters and climate change, with ASBEC executive officer Suzanne Toumbouru noting that the built environment is at risk from the impacts of these events:

    “The estimated overall replacement cost for Australia’s built environment is in excess of $5.4 trillion with significant economic, social and environmental risks.”

    “Australia’s continuing prosperity is dependent on our resilience to these events. ASBEC’s Built Environment Adaptation Framework outlines the ways that federal, state, territory and local governments, industry, academia and the community sector can deliver effective resilience and adaptation strategies.”

    ASBEC is calling for a review and reform of existing regulation to remove barriers to climate change adaption, as well as an integration of climate change considerations into strategic planning and planning policy measures to provide certainty for industry and the community.

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