Jobs news: Victorian job market feeling the lockdown + our pick of the jobs

The jobs market continues to rebound, with many employers likely to be feeling relieved by the news that JobKeeper will be extended (albeit at a more targeted, lower rate) for six months. But Victoria is already feeling the effects of the second lockdown, with job add volumes slowing compared to the other states and territories. […]

New Zealand unveils revolutionary green building program to fight climate change

The New Zealand government is making a bold climate commitment with a plan to transform the building sector, which includes aggressive new efficiency standards for energy and water use and mandatory reporting requirements on construction materials and waste. On Friday, the New Zealand government announced its Building for Climate Change Programme, setting out plans to […]

Green gigs: Bushfire recovery grants, NSW hydropower, West Camden water recycling and more

Every week, The Fifth Estate goes looking for government tenders, grants and other opportunities in green business. The Victorian government is dedicating $900,000 as part of its new Biodiversity Bushfire Recovery Grant program to support bushland and biodiversity recovery in the wake of the unprecedented summer bushfires. All of the funding will go to support […]

On myopic split systems thinking – and environmentalism’s struggle with racism

News from the front desk, Issue 484: According to the social scientists it can take a good 10 years for society to forget a collective trauma and move on.  Even after the actual danger has passed, the fear lives on. We’re wondering if it’s this kind of fear that is making the PM Scott Morrison […]

Why Melbourne needs its own version of the Greater Sydney Commission

Melbourne’s global reputation for liveability does not resonate with many Melburnians. Its economy has slipped into per capita recession a couple of times over the past decade. Population growth has outpaced the provision of parkland and social housing. Many households must look to fringe areas to find housing they can afford. Read more: Our cities […]

On how the all-electric, net zero horse has already bolted

News from the front desk, Issue 483: Last week, the Morrison government unleashed its technology roadmap on Australia, starring natural gas in a leading role. It didn’t take long for people to start protesting the pro-gas sentiment pushed by the government and its friends in the gas industry. Atlassian chief executive and renewables advocate Mike […]

How healthy homes can build immunity

Home wellness company Delos says people are starting to recognise the role a healthy home plays in promoting strong immunity that has the best chance of fighting infections such as the coronavirus. If you can steer clear of the bogus claims about vitamins and specialist diets that promise to turbocharge your immunity, there really are […]

Nobody wins from rent moratoriums, not even landlords

Jay is an international student at the Canberra University of Technology. When she and her housemate both lost their jobs in March due to the coronavirus pandemic, their landlord reacted in the worst possible way: he refused to reduce the rent, instead increasing it by $15 per week.  Jay and millions of renters like her […]

Aged care facilities have been at the centre of the Covid crisis. Here’s how their design can change to lessen risk.

With the elderly community most at risk, seniors’ housing for retirement living and aged care is at the coalface of change to manage COVID-19 and any future infectious diseases. For the past few months, the focus of seniors’ living providers, especially those offering residential aged care, has been literally on staying alive and protecting their […]

How Amsterdam and other cities are adopting a new model to support their citizens and the planet

Last month Amsterdam became one of the first cities in the world to adopt the “doughnut economics model” as a means to help it become genuinely socially and ecologically sustainable.  Philadelphia and Portland, Oregon are amongst other cities following suit. In the words of the model’s inventor, Kate Raworth, “This takes the global concept of […]

Australia’s role in COVID-19 recovery lies in its diverse economy

The COVID-19 crisis has upended local and global economies, disrupted supply chains and prompted politicians and the global citizenry alike think about what sort of world we want to live in. The immediate focus is on economic recovery but the subsequent focus on reform represents an opportunity for meaningful change. In Australia, our manufacturing and […]

How one window manufacturer, Paarhammer, is coping with Covid

Covid has hit a lot of people hard, but not Australian window manufacturer Paarhammer. The company prides itself on sustainable – and fire resistant – windows and doors that it produces out of its purposed built factory at Ballan, about 80 kilometres north west of Melbourne. Edith Paarhammer, who owns the company with husband Tony, […]

The Fifth Estate Green Bond and other special advertising and promotional offers

How we can help you? Here’s a list of options we’ve put together to help your business or organisation promote itself in the best possible way: TFE Green Bond Any booking you make and pay for before 30 June 2020 will earn you credit to the equivalent value in display advertising any time in the […]

News in brief: UK fossil investors on notice; QIC goes big on solar; catastrophic heat for a third of us

A partnership between QIC and Yurika Energy will deliver a whole-of-system renewable energy solution including onsite solar, battery storage and 24/7 system monitoring to optimise the value of onsite renewable energy. The arrangement will mean Queensland’s largest bulky goods shopping centre, Domain Central, will be fully energy self-sustained within three years, which according to QIC […]

Whole life value tool will help create net zero buildings in the UK

In the UK the government is accelerating development of a tool for public procurement to determine whole life value – including natural, social and net zero metrics – for the post-Covid emergency recovery. This, along with the need for a broad coalition in the construction industry around net zero buildings, was one of the revelations […]

Far-reaching housing tax reform could be back on the agenda

The pitch to replace stamp duty with a broad-based land tax is seeing a new surge of advocacy. Just in the past few days the Reserve Bank Governor together with state Treasurers in both NSW and Victoria have all weighed into this debate once again, arguing that such a transition is now an urgent priority.

TFE LIVE: Recordings now available

We’ve had great response to our first two TFE Live events now scheduled fortnightly. But if you can’t get there on the day you can still catch up. First up was a very interesting and important session on Covid-19 and the impact on our buildings. How are the facility managers coping? What is the truth […]

TFE LIVE: Danni Hunter & Davina Rooney

Wednesday 29 – 1 pm TFE LIVE – Featuring two of the most well placed leaders in the built environment and sustainability: Davina Rooney, chief executive, the Green Building Council of Australia Danni Hunter, chief executive Urban Development Institute of Australia, Victoria This is an event not to be missed if you want to know […]

NZGBC announces 2020 Future Thinker of the Year

Tessa Meyer, a corporate responsibility advisor for Panuku Development Auckland, was awarded 2020 Future Thinker of the Year by the New Zealand Green Building Council.

COVID-19 is an opportunity to reset our environmental future

You may have seen some of the discussions around environmental silver linings to the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis. The overall environmental narrative is inconsistent, as policy and energy experts express differing opinions over how to interpret what’s happened so far. Certainly, there have already been short-term benefits. Local air and water quality have dramatically improved in […]

Guess what? Building a better world will also speed economic recovery

As we emerge from this global crisis we have an unprecedented opportunity to create a better world, a healthier world, a happier and fairer world, and a low carbon world. It turns out this also represents better value for money than not doing so.

Planning in an era of COVID-19 and high density living

In planning circles, debate has ignited around the relative resilience of different dwelling types to the COVID-19 pandemic and the prospect of health threats like it in the future. It’s highlighted the shortfalls high density living – when it’s done badly, at least – so does this mean people will flock to the suburbs?

What Gen Z – and everyone – needs from the built environment

The property industry has caught onto the benefits of social sustainability and community-focused development, but for the incoming generation, Gen Z, it’s no longer a nice-to-have – they’re going to need it.