Is it no great secret that Australia is fast becoming entrenched as a global green building leader.
With major advances in the green building sector allowing new flagship projects and technologies to finally come to fruition and strong leadership and green certification processes, Australia serves as a shining example to other nations around the world.
According to Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) executive director of advocacy Robin Mellon, however, the country must remain vigilant if it hopes to retain its lofty green standing.
“Australia is recognised as a leader in green building, but this leadership position will not last without the full support of the Australian Government,” says Mellon.
Those sentiments were reinforced with the release of the ‘Australia in the Asian Century’ white paper, which outlines goals, opportunities and the simple realities of the booming industry efforts across Asia.
“The white paper points to the scale and pace of development in Asia, and the fact that this region will soon be home to the majority of the world’s middle class, and yet no mention is made of the opportunities within the built environment,” says Mellon. “All of these people need to live in buildings, and the vast majority of them will live in cities.”
Mellon points out that many of these regions such as China, have strong green building targets and established green building councils and varying other authorities. This growing green ideology in the region will make exporting expertise in the field of sustainability a new opportunity to unlock for those in the Australian industry.
“Exporting our skills and knowledge – particularly in burgeoning fields such as sustainability – can help us to create a more prosperous and resilient Australia,” says Mellon.
While these opportunities are obtainable, the green building authority advises that skills must be perfected and fundamental sustainability models undertaken on home soil first in order to ‘ensure Australian’s are more able to take advantage of the opportunities presented in the Asian century.’
In ensuring this happens, the GBCA has reaffirmed its five priorities that will maximise the potential of Australia’s involvement in eastern industry efforts.
These include a necessity to/of:
- Provide visionary government leadership
- Retrofit and improve existing buildings
- Green education and healthcare facilities
- Move beyond buildings to communities and cities
- Embed green skills across all industry training
“We look forward to working with the Gillard Government to identify the funding and policies needed to seize the opportunities represented by an efficient, productive and healthy built environment, and to develop the capabilities, skills and jobs that will confirm Australia’s place in the Asian century,” Mellon says.