In the wake of the repeal the carbon tax, an increasing number of local governments around Australia are taking a strong stance on building sustainability.

From September, Toowoomba Regional Council in Queensland will require a rainwater tank or other supplementary water supply system when a building development application is submitted for most new buildings, in opposition to current Queensland state government policies.

“When the Newman government came to power, they disappointingly removed mandatory disclosure requirements relating to building sustainability, water and energy efficiency relating to the sale or lease of homes in Queensland as well as mandatory measures on new builds – like rainwater tanks,” Sid Thoo, Chair of the Association of Building Sustainability Assessors (ABSA) said.

“While this was done under the guise of reducing so-called ‘green tape’, if these things had stayed in place they would have protected the interests of homeowners right across Queensland.

“So it’s heartening to see a local council choosing to “opt-in” when it comes to building sustainability. In fact, we’ve seen a number of local government authorities around the country stepping up to the plate, in the absence of leadership at state and federal levels,” Sid said.

“Building sustainability is clearly a critical local issue.

“After all, local government is often responsible for approving the construction of new homes and Toowoomba Regional Council’s actions are the right way to respond to the ‘on the ground’ issues of reducing water and energy expenses for households.

“ABSA strongly opposed the Queensland Government’s backward step on mandated home sustainability measures, so we welcome Toowoomba Regional Council’s leadership on this important issue,” Mr Thoo said.

About ABSA: The Association of Building Sustainability Assessors (ABSA) is a not-for-profit national membership organisation representing building and design professionals who specialise in assessing the environmental impact of buildings. ABSA’s vision is to improve sustainability through the design and use of buildings.

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