SEARCH
Planning

by Andrew Starc 4 August 2010 - The Planning Institute of Australia has called on Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott to address the issue of long term planning by issuing five key planning priorities it says are vital to Australia’s long term success. PIA national president Neil Savery said in a media release yesterday that a new federal government will need to address five key planning priorities: Development of a population policy for sustainable growth and population distribution. Support for... 
Read More

By Tina Perinotto FAVOURITES – 10 September 2009 -Picture this: an apartment tower constructed entirely in a factory — right down to the base fit-out and even the defects’’ rectification. The walls built of new lightweight materials, pre-insulated. The whole thing shifted like Lego blocks and assembled on site, in Little Collins Street in the heart of Melbourne’s CBD. No tight work regime of 7 am to 3 pm. Work shifts throughout the night, if you like. No more safety issues of tripping... 
Read More

By Tina Perinotto 17 March 2010 – Australians could be on the cusp of “getting it” in terms of downsizing their houses to more sustainable and affordable levels, if you take note of Stockland chief executive Matthew Quinn. Mr Quinn, who heads Australia’s biggest residential developer, said the evidence was coming through in the rate of sales for Stockland’s smaller and dramatically lower cost dwellings it had recently released at the Highlands community in Melbourne.  “They’re... 
Read More

By Lynne Blundell 29 July 2010 – The Melbourne co-housing group, Urban Coup, is getting closer to making its dream a reality – that is, creating a community where resources, ideas and skills are shared on a daily basis. There is a strong sense in the group that the concept has finally come of age. Last year The Fifth Estate reported on the then group of 11 that was going beyond green building and design to embrace true community living with other similar-minded people. Many worked in the... 
Read More

26 July 2010 - China has decided it will put a price on carbon, starting next year, it has decided to use a market mechanism because an administrative one is too expensive; and its top 1000 energy consumers have signed contracts to reduce energy consumption according to China Daily. The country is set to begin domestic carbon trading programs during its 12th Five-Year Plan period (2011-2015) to help it meet its 2020 carbon intensity target. The decision was made at a closed-door meeting chaired by... 
Read More

By Tina Perinotto 29 June 2010 – The Planning Institute of Australia today came out in support of the Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s “more measured approach” to population growth for Australia, but it will have a fight on its hands from the property sector. Key to the new approach, said PIA president Neil Savery, was use of the word “sustainable” in a population context. “The Prime Minister’s approach is not advocating that there shouldn’t be an increase in population or... 
Read More

29 June, 2010 – A series of three reports released by Parsons Brinckerhoff and the Curtin University Sustainable Policy Institute have shown that active-travel cities are 6 per cent more productive. Authors of the report, Roman Trubka, Peter Newman and Darren Bilsborough, show that higher productivity in active-travel cities – which encourage people to walk and cycle – is forecast to generate close to $40 million in health and productivity savings over the nex50 years. The three complementary... 
Read More

By Tina Perinotto 28 June 2010 – Sustainability consultant Shauna Coffey (formerly of Mirvac) and Investa’s Craig Roussac were among guests who turned out for the launch of the Energy Efficiency Council’s new policy Platform for 2010 at 260 Elizabeth Street, Sydney, one of Investa’s buildings which it retrofitted to a 4.5 star NABERS Energy standard. Australia urgently needed action to save energy said EEC chief executive officer of the council, Rob Murray-Leach, said at the launch:... 
Read More

Brief – 25 July, 2010 – Members of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum have agreed to embark on a project to create up to 20 low-carbon model cities using energy-efficient technologies including smart grids and renewable power generation. Announced at APEC’s forum meeting in Japan 19 June, the 21-member body will set up a task force to choose cities for the Low-Carbon Model Town Project within the next three years. Japan’s trade minister said after the forum that Tianjin, in north-eastern... 
Read More

By Andrew Starc 25 June 2010 - Bond University’s Mirvac School of Sustainable Development building has been awarded the United Nations Association of Australia World Environment Day Szencorp Green Building Award. The first educational building in Australia to achieve a 6 Star Green Star – Education Pilot Certified Rating for its sustainable features and innovative design, this latest award builds on a list of accolades, including the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors Sustainability Award... 
Read More

17 June 2010 – The fact that Sydney wasn’t listed first or second on the KPMG audit of major cities’ planning systems probably says as much as you need to know about whether or not some action is urgently needed, the audience at the Built Environment Meets Parliament summit in Canberra this week heard. Melbourne, by contrast, came out at the top of the league tables, as befits Australia’s second major city. However, even the top results in the survey bring no room for complacency. The... 
Read More

Brief – 16 July, 2010 – The Australian Local Government Association has launched its Local Roads and Transport Agenda, outlining a vision for the next decade. President of the ALGA Geoff Lake said that local councils play a significant role in the planning and maintenance of roads and transport infrastructure, with the agenda setting forth a plan to tackle issues relating to Australia’s population growth and climate change. “Transport is one of the major areas of local government... 
Read More

by Andrew Starc 15 June, 2010 – The Australian Conservation Foundation’s first sustainable cities index today nominated Darwin as Australia’s most liveable city among a list of 20. But though Darwin was a clear winner on several measures, particularly biodiversity and air quality,  the index ranked the city amongst the worst performing for  ecological footprint -  18th -  and preparedness for climate change -  15th. Across the board, Australian cities did not fare well with... 
Read More

By Tina Perinotto 11 June 2010 – The NSW Government’s decision to cap developer contributions could see new home owners in greenfields housing estates left without adequate facilities and households facing steep rises in rates, according to the Planning Institute of Australia’s NSW division. The move, which took effect on 7 June, caps developer contributions at $20,000 and restricts the contributions to  “essential infrastructure,” a term that opponents say is a difficult to define. Division... 
Read More

Brief – 9 June, 2010 – The Queensland Government has appointed Umow Lai to master plan the new $1.97 billion Sunshine Coast University Hospital. Umow Lai’s team will provide technical and documentation advice as well as a full range of engineering services, including mechanical, electrical, fire, communications, hydraulics, lifts, civil and structural services for the hospital, set to open in 2016, Director of Umow Lai Elizabeth Coe said that the company is looking forward to creating... 
Read More

by Lynne Blundell 21 May 2010 – The sustainable property sector is littered with tools – tools to measure, to assess, to rate – to give insight into an increasingly complex area. Every other week, it seems, there is a new tool or piece of software. But is there a need for so many? Or is this proliferation simply confusing, or in some cases downright misleading? Certainly some people who spoke to The Fifth Estate for this story think there are too many different tools emerging, with very... 
Read More

By Tina Perinotto 19 May 2010 – Federal Housing Minister Tanya Plibersek today scotched any notion that she would support deregulated zoning in order to create more affordable housing, despite the Productivity Commission’s recent announcement that it would look at the idea in its inquiry into development controls. A “zoning free for all does not deliver livable communities” Ms Plibersek told The Fifth Estate in an exclusive interview this morning after speaking at a Property Council... 
Read More

By Tina Perinotto 17 May 2010 – The NSW Government today announced the country’s first legally binding bio-banking covenant to protect environmentally sensitive land in return for development rights over similar land. But The Greens have slammed the scheme, saying it will enable the destruction of endangered species. “Biobanking is a backward step for threatened species conservation in NSW because it allows land of significant ecological value to be destroyed if land of supposed ‘equal... 
Read More

Brief – 10 May 2010 - Stockland once again has affordable housing in its sights with the announcement late last week that it will offer discounts of around $30,000 on over 100 of its home and land packages in Western Australia, this time with the help of the Rudd Government. As reported by The Fifth Estate, Stockland earlier this year released 10 house and land packages in Melbourne that sold out in the first day. In that instance the land and house size were smaller than average, and sold... 
Read More

By Andrew Starc 5 May 2010 - Changes to zoning and development laws to enhance environmental sustainability are part of a proposed 30-year-plan for Southbank, the City of Melbourne announced today. The Draft Southbank Structure Plan 2010 includes changes to zoning and development controls to allow residents and workers to be closer to local shops and services, according to a City of Melbourne media release, yesterday. The plan also outlines new planning guidelines that consider an individual building’s... 
Read More

2 May 2010 – UPDATED 3 May 2010  – The Henry Tax Review has been released today and with it some lengthy responses to the huge number of property items it considered.  Among these items – and of significant concern is the review’s apparent acceptance of the arguments pushed by the  competition/deregulated zoning property lobby that wants to see planning and zoning  set aside in favour of short-term single-issue price considerations. (see our recent coverage on this in the... 
Read More

By Andrew Starc 21 April 2010 – A new report by Curtin University of Technology and Parsons Brinckerhoff highlights evidence that the potential for the Federal Government to enforce deregulation of urban zoning and planning across Australia could  have detrimental effects on both the health and productivity of urban populations. In the report, The Cost of Urban Sprawl: Physical activity links to healthcare costs and productivity, authors Roman Trubka, Peter Newman and Darren Bilsborough... 
Read More

By Tina Perinotto 22 April 2010- Planners have reacted angrily to widescale moves to deregulate zoning controls, create land “competition” and fast track more urban sprawl that emerged in an avalanche of government announcements in the past week. Leading sustainability and planning authority Professor Peter Newman of Curtin University said more low-density housing would actually cost the economy money and would lead to significant productivity losses. RMIT’s environment and planning commentator... 
Read More

By Tina Perinotto 19 April 2010 - [Updated 19 April 2010] A Productivity Commission inquiry into development controls is set to raise a storm of controversy if it results in loosening zoning controls for residential and retail property, as anticipated. Expect planners who have long argued for orderly and controlled zoning complete with infrastructure to be furious. But in a stunning move announced today the NSW Government said it would move ahead anyway on the issue of protected retail zones and... 
Read More

The Australian Conservation Foundation has finally named the elephant in the room of sustainability -  population growth. It said yesterday it would bid to make population recognised as a key threat under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (the EPBC Act) and has called for Australia’s growth to be stabilised by mid Century. Greens Leader Bob Brown said he also supported a halt to Australia’s population growth but that humanitarian immigration should continue. Aaron... 
Read More

by Adam Beck, Green Star Communities project manager, Green Building Council of Australia Australia is confronted by significant long-term challenges. Population growth and demographic change, transport congestion, housing affordability, infrastructure development, climate change, energy and resource limitations, technological advances and the influences of the global economy have the potential to irrevocably shape the nation. Many of these challenges will be most severely felt in our major cities,... 
Read More

By Tina Perinotto COMMENT 18 March 2010 – “What we have here is failure to deliver,” the surly prison guard in the mirror glasses might have said in Cool Hand Luke. The NSW Government deserves to be locked up. It has failed to deliver the credible long term planning which is the fundamental backbone of a sustainable city. This is something that is not an optional extra like organic shampoo or other green bling, it is absolutely what will sustain the life of the city and stop citizens... 
Read More

By Tina Perinotto The Green Building Council of Australia said the Australian Government’s State of Australian Cities 2010 report would support the property and construction sector’s drive to Sustainability. GBCA chief executive Romilly Madews said the new Green Star –Communities environmental rating tool, which is under development would help address the key findings in the report that Australian cities face significant challenges in terms of population growth and demographic change, transport... 
Read More

By Lynne Blundell FAVOURITES: 5 November 2009 – The Southport Broadwater Parklands project may well be a blueprint for adaptive planning solutions to combat sea level rise and storm surge on our coastlines. It involved some creative methods, including raising ground levels in some places by two metres. With its spectacular Nerang River frontage and proximity to the Southport CBD, Southport Broadwater Parklands has long been a popular community gathering place on the Gold Coast. It is the location... 
Read More

FAVOURITES – 6 April 2009 – Peter Szental explains how the Szencorp Building at 40 Albert Road, South Melbourne, claims it is the country’s highest sustainability achiever with top ranking in each of the three major ratings systems. Szencorp’s headquarters achieved a 6 star Green Star Office Design v1 certified rating from the Green Building Council of Australia, and two 5 Star NABERS ratings for each of water and energy performance. With its real time monitoring of performance... 
Read More