Boost for greener buildings

A $12.6 million boost to sustainable building will help put Victoria at the forefront of building design as the nation transitions to a new carbon economy, Environment and Climate Change Minister Gavin Jennings said today.
Victorian Environment and Climate Change Minister Gavin Jennings announced the funding at the World Sustainable Building Conference, saying the Government must plan for the Commonwealth’s Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme.

"That’s why we are starting broad discussions with industry and the community about the development of a broadened residential building standard for new homes by 2010.

“We must explore how we can improve the environmental performance of all sorts of buildings – from moving to low-energy light bulbs, through to the most sophisticated climate-friendly technologies in government and commercial buildings.”

Planning Minister Justin Madden said the Brumby Government would work with all levels of the building industry to ensure the best outcome for Victorians.

“Victoria led the way with 5 Star standards for new homes in Australia and the push is now to boost the efficiency of all types of buildings,” Mr Madden said.

The new sustainable building initiatives announced at the conference include:

•    $6 million for the Zero Emissions Zones program to develop up to four prototype Victorian communities showcasing low emission lifestyles;

•    $3.5 million for a new ResourceSmart Hubs program to tap into established community networks, encouraging them to work with the wider community to reduce household energy emissions;

•    $2 million for the Climate Change Proofing Low Income House initiative to provide a buffer for 21,000 low-income families in regional Victoria from rising energy and water costs;

•    $1.1 million to support the expansion of the City Switch program to be delivered in partnership with local councils in metropolitan Melbourne and regional centres;

•    Developing whole-of-government policies to reduce greenhouse impacts of government owned and leased buildings; and

•    Establishing an Industry Round Table with both the Environment and Climate Change Minister and the Planning Minister.

Mr Madden said the Brumby Government was also working with other states on a national approach on standards for residential and commercial buildings by 2010.

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