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Hon Dr Sharman Stone MP
Federal Member for Murray
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister
for the Environment and Heritage
10 April 2001
Not many Australians are aware that our buildings are responsible for more greenhouse gas emissions than all the cars on Australian roads. Too often we fail to insulate homes and offices effectively, heating and cooling is inefficient and we leave pilot lights and power switches on when turning off at the powerpoint could save millions of dollars each year.
Dr Sharman Stone, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for the Environment and Heritage, launched a new 'directions' report on Energy Efficiency in Buildings this week at the Australian Building Codes Board's first International Conference on the Gold Coast. The report is designed to incorporate 'clean and green' provisions into the Building Code of Australia (BCA).
The construction industry is one of the drivers of our economy, responsible for nearly 900,000 Australian jobs and contributing $78b to the economy every year.
"This new report demonstrates that partnership between the Federal Government and the building industry in working to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The aim is to develop New buildings that are cheaper to run", Sharman Stone said.
The BCA contains technical provisions for the design and construction of buildings and other structures, covering such matters as structure, fire resistance, access, fire-fighting equipment, mechanical ventilation, lift installations, and aspects of health and amenity.
"Residential and commercial buildings are likely to produce over 100 million tonnes of greenhouse gases this year alone. By introducing energy efficient provisions into the Building Code not only will we reduce emissions, but save consumers thousands of dollars each year in energy costs".
Sharman Stone said that without co-operation between all levels of Government and the building industry, meeting our greenhouse obligations will only become more difficult.
"We have to sell the concept of good design; for the environment, for the bottom line and for the comfort of the Australian population".
"Projections show that greenhouse emissions will rise 48% by 2010 if we adopt a 'business as usual' approach. Fortunately through the work of the Australian Greenhouse Office and the building and construction industries, real progress is being made toward meeting our obligations.
"With over 1 million new homes expected to be built in Australia over the next decade the work being done on building energy efficient housing is a win for consumers and the environment", Sharman Stone said.
"We have to respond to our climate and landscape, not try to endlessly modify the environment in ways that are unsustainable".
* The Directions Report is available on the Australian Building Codes Board website at: www.abcb.gov.au
For further information please contact:
Simon Frost 0419 495 468 or 02 6277 2016
April 11th 2001