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Green Building Council welcomes budget
Released 12 May 2011



Funding of $160 million for projects that support sustainable urban development, announced in Federal Budget, has been welcomed by Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA).    

GBCA chief executive Romilly Madew said the funding was a good first step towards an integrated strategy for Australia's cities and communities.

“We are particularly pleased to see the $29 million earmarked to support the development of sustainable plans for regional and coastal high growth areas, as well as the $20 million allocated to support urban renewal projects."

In March, the Australian Sustainable Built Environment Council, of which the GBCA is a member, issued a 'call to action' to highlight the urgent need for a federal Minister and Department for Cities and Urban Development to ensure a streamlined, co-ordinated approach to urban management.

"This funding demonstrates the Australian Government is listening to industry's concerns. It acknowledges that more must be done to address the current lack of policy co-ordination across all levels of government, which currently includes 45 federal programs and strategies, as well as inconsistently-managed programs across eight state and territories and more than 500 local governments," Madew said.

She said $10 million has been earmarked for the development of a set of sustainability indicators.

"We assume this program will be complementary with the Green Building Council of Australia's Green Star - Communities project, which already has the support of all three levels of government, including every state land development organisation in Australia," Madew said.

The Green Star - Communities rating tool will include set of best practice benchmarks to assess the environmental, economic and social sustainability of building projects at the community or precinct scale.

"The Green Star - Communities project will provide a simple set of guiding principles which will support Australia's property and construction industry to deliver productive, affordable, liveable and sustainable communities. But we need the Australian Government to support this with visionary leadership and linked-up policies," Madew said.

"The $100 million allocation to boost employment opportunities in suburban areas reflects one of the five principles underpinning the Green Star - Communities project - the need to create prosperous communities. Job opportunities will not only increase economic prosperity, but decrease greenhouse gas emissions and improve liveability by reducing the need for people to commute long distances for work.”