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Government/Regulations

By Lynne Blundell 16 April 2014 — Comment: One morning recently I turned on the radio, as I do most mornings, and was pleasantly surprised to tune into a very clever satirical piece. Finally someone had mastered an impersonation of our prime minister Tony Abbott. Read More  
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By Wendy Miller, Queensland University of Technology 15 April 2014 — From The Conversation: During Queensland’s preparations for Severe Tropical Cyclone Ita, Queensland Premier Campbell Newman advised residents who lived in older houses (those built before 1985) to evacuate their homes as they were not likely to stand up to the storm’s destructive winds. Read More  
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By Tina Perinotto 10 April 2014 — There’s a fierce battle raging in the US to bring down LEED, the rating equivalent of Australia’s Green Star. It’s driven by the commercial interests of those who stand to lose most from the gradual elimination of harmful chemicals and destructive environmental practices, as highly rated green Read More  
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By Cameron Jewell 9 April 2014 — Investment manager and super fund Australian Ethical has downgraded Australian renewables due to government policy uncertainty that has forced some companies in the sector to turn to fossil fuels. However, Asia is now looking like a hot destination instead. Read More  
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By Willow Aliento 10 April 2014 — The Abbott Government’s “repeal day” was a fine reminder why legislation can’t always be relied on to effect lasting change for the better, with the Omnibus Repeal Day (Autumn 2014) Bill including some questionable and well-buried items like a relaxation on reporting requirements for ozone-depleting gases imported by small and medium enterprises.   Read More  
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By Tina Perinotto and Willow Aliento 3 April 2014 – Environmental groups will have a major fight on their hands if proposals to make environmental campaigns against unsustainable products illegal gets lift-off. Read More  
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By Cameron Jewell 3 April 2014 — Heather Zichal, former lead US White House advisor on energy and climate change, has called out the government’s climate inaction and labelled its decision to sit out on international climate negotiations a “mistake”. Read More  
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By Willow Aliento 27 March 2014 — Canberra’s light rail project shifts into high gear this year, with the appointment of an Arup-led team for Stage One detailed design of the new Capital Metro system. Read More  
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By Willow Aliento 27 March 2014 — Perth property developers have been left in limbo by the state and federal governments, both of which are back-pedalling on funding commitments for Perth’s light rail network, the Metro Area Express, or MAX.  Read More  
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By Tina Perinotto 27 March 2014 — The Victorian Government has axed its hugely successful Greener Government Buildings program, which was on track to save billions of dollars in energy bills for taxpayers, and replaced it with something the industry says won’t work. Read More  
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20 March 2014 — Labor and the Greens have voted to block the Abbott Government’s clean energy repeal bills. The Clean Energy (Carbon Tax Repeal) Bill was rejected by the Senate at a third reading (33-29). “Without a credible alternative, Labor cannot support the abolition of the existing clean energy policies,” shadow climate change minister Mark Butler said. Read More  
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By Cameron Jewell 19 March 2014 — The Victorian government has announced a plan to unlock under-utilised land from around train stations, in a move it says will create thousands of jobs Read More  
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By Cameron Jewell 18 March 2014 — The Victorian Energy Efficiency Target has become the latest scheme to be threatened with closure, in what seems to be a worrying trend of conservative News Limited papers launching selective attacks on former Labor government programs. Read More  
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By Willow Aliento 18 March 2014 — As an entity that will in all likelihood maintain management of the majority of its property in perpetuity, increasing market value or attractiveness to commercial tenants is not what drives the Australian Defence Department’s sustainability agenda. Read More  
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By Willow Aliento 13 March 2014 — Australia’s much lauded attempt to create its first affordable housing investment asset class is under vicious attack, lambasted, inaccurately and potentially along dangerous racist lines by national conservative newspaper The Australian. And already the federal housing minister has jumped and placed National Rental Affordability Scheme in the firing lines. Read More  
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By Willow Aliento 13 March 2014 — UPDATED: The Abbott government has abolished the Prime Minister’s Council on Homelessness, the “highly regarded” National Housing Supply Council, removed the COAG Select Council on Housing and Homelessness and  withdrawn from the community housing sector’s National Regulatory Council, Senator Jan McLucas said. Following are reactions on NRAS (See “It gets worse for the range of attacks on housing) . We talk to: Senator McLucas and big stakeholders... 
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By Cameron Jewell 13 March 2014 — SPECIAL REPORT: We talk to manufacturers and sustainability expert Dr Chris Reardon; we check the councils such as Pittwater and Woollahra to see why they don’t like light roofs; take a look at City of Melbourne’s study; and even the argument for dark roofs. Read More  
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By Willow Aliento 13 March 2014 — Senator Scott Ludlam, a strong champion of affordable housing issue in parliament, says the Greens have concerns about the National Rental Affordability Scheme, but that it is addressing a vital need. Read More  
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By Tim Horton, Committee for Adelaide 5 March 2014 — What’s important is not how we tender but what we tender, says Tim Horton. Design a building using high performance glass and you’re almost guaranteed all the materials will be sourced offshore. Read More  
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5 March 2014 — Following community calls for better public transport, the NSW Government has placed on public exhibition amendments to the Local Environment Plan and Development Control Plan to guide CBD urban renewal, which is to be based around plans for a new light rail link interchange. Read More  
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By Willow Aliento 27 February 2014 — The Environmental Defenders Office has mounted a legal challenge against the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority’s decision to grant a permit for the dumping of three million cubic metres of dredge spoil from the Abbot Point coal terminal development into the World Heritage Area. Read More  
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By John Sutton, former board member of the National Occupational Licensing Authority  26 February 2014 — The move to create a national licensing scheme for occupations such as in real estate building and construction has already cost $30 million in taxpayer funds and was supported by the Business Council, Australian Industry Group, the Australian Council of Trade Unions and the Productivity Commission. Read More  
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By Tina Perinotto 25 February 2014 — What’s happening in the Victorian government? Has the private sector soaked up all the talent and left it stranded, unable to do a bit of maths, or even add up? And who, by the way, is advising it? Read More  
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By Cameron Jewell 13 February 2014 — Fears have been raised that the NSW Government will use existing powers to push through reforms to the planning system that were rejected by parliament last year. Read More  
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By Cameron Jewell 13 February 2014 — The federal government confirmed on Tuesday it has shelved plans to expand mandatory disclosure of energy ratings to retail property and other building types. Read More  
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By Cameron Jewell 6 February 2014 — Legal advice to local governments obtained by The Fifth Estate says local councils would be prudent to continue to use the former Labor government’s sea level rise planning benchmarks until the O’Farrell government delivers on a promised approach to sea level rise that is more responsive to local conditions. Read More  
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30 January 2014 – South Australia has announced the release of its draft Building Upgrade Finance scheme for energy, water and environmental efficiency upgrades in commercial buildings. Read More  
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By Cameron Jewell 28 January 2014 — A report out of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has found white roofs to be the most cost-effective option over a 50-year time span – ahead of green and black roofs – lending support to the notion that black roofs should be phased out. Read More  
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By Willow Aliento 21 January 2014 – Comment: Federal government statements about “slashing green tape” appear increasingly maverick in the light of the World Economic Forum stating clearly that failure of climate change mitigation and adaptation, water crises, and greater incidence of extreme weather events are among the top 10 risks faced by global economies. Read More  
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By Leon Gettler 20 January 2014 — Green MashUP: The next big trend in property is the net zero energy building. Read More  
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