Eureka Funds Management executive Niall McCarthy has announced that the $1 billion Tax Breaks for Green Buildings program has been scrapped. McCarthy announced the green building investment slashing at the Property Funds Association’s annual conference, leaving many in the green building sector and in the industry at large shaking their heads and questioning the move.
However, in speaking to the Fifth Estate, Climate Change Secretary Mark Dreyfus could not confirm the information, which has seriously concerned Australia’s highest-powered green building authority, the Green Building Council of Australia.
“Buildings represent the fastest, most cost-effective opportunity to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions,” says GBCA Chief Executive Romily Madew. “Without this program, the greatest opportunity to improve energy efficiency, at the least cost, will be missed.”
The program, which was to implemented on July 1, would enable a one-off retrofit deduction cost of 50 per cent, strongly encouraging green building implementation and new technology acceptance into the construction sector which needs as much green promotion as it can get.
There are many in the industry that have seen the move to scrap the program as a complete loss of incentive for the construction sector to take on green building projects that come with additional costs.
While the issue is as yet both unconfirmed and unresolved, newly appointed Greens leader Christine Milne is said to be raising “this issue with the government as a matter of concern.”
With a number of green incentive programs slashed and questioned pre-budget, and more importantly, pre-carbon tax implementation, the green building industry is in a state of concern. With the latest leadership change over and pressure from opposing government forces, the sector is under a huge strain.
However, with the impending carbon tax implementation, the loss of monetary support for development programs of this nature could put excessive pressure on the industry at large – an industry that supports the economic success of this country.