Hunter region – moving from “coal country” to clean energy

Almost all councils in the Hunter region – one of NSW’s largest coal-producing areas – have now made the commitment to move away from coal and gas and towards a cleaner future powered by renewables. Lake Macquarie City, Port Stephens and Cessnock City have today become the latest members of the Cities Power Partnership (CPP), […]

Cruising down the road to Donald Horne’s Lucky Country

OPINION:  For near on 30 years we have cruised down the road of economic growth feasting on the fruits of the “lucky country”.  Sure, there were a few speed bumps along the way, a few wrong turns, and more than a few prime ministers, but it was mostly smooth sailing.  Hit in the face by […]

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 […]

Environmental protections on shaky ground as review for EPBC Act looms

At a time when there’s mounting evidence that Australia’s environmental planning laws are “fundamentally broken”, this very same legislation is under threat from a federal government intent on fast-tracking projects as part of its pandemic recovery plan. “Green tape” has been in the firing line of the Covid recovery agenda at least since earlier this […]

Calls for an elected Lord Mayor of Parramatta

This week, two business groups made the case for a democratially-elected Lord Mayor of Parramatta – an equivalent to City of Sydney’s popular Clover Moore – to lead the critical region through a period of rapid growth and transformation.

HomeBuilder a half-baked idea that’s widely condemned

ANALYSIS: On Thursday, the Morrison government introduced its HomeBuilder (insert trademark) scheme with the intention of supporting residential home builders that were starting to see work dry up.

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.

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.

NSW builders must win back customer trust, says commissioner

With the introduction of government bills to force change, now is the time for quality market participants to back an overhaul of the state’s construction industry and rebuild customer confidence, argues the NSW Building Commissioner.

On why Adam Bandt is a man for the times

News from the front desk on Friday (part II) – Richard Di Natale was right for the times; Adam Bandt is right for now. Newscorp calls Bandt the Greens “attack dog”.

NSW can have water or fossil fuels but not both

SAVING WATER, summer series:Decisions to push ahead with coal and coal seam gas (CSG) projects in NSW and Queensland are entirely at odds with ensuring good management of water supplies and reducing carbon emissions.

Sustainability gets look-in for productivity planning in NSW

Land planning, energy, water, housing affordability and jobs of the future are among the key priorities identified by the NSW Productivity Commission in a discussion paper released ahead of a wide-ranging inquiry.

Every building counts – time to tackle the laggards

It seems building energy efficiency is even palatable enough for federal energy and emissions reduction minister Angus Taylor as an emissions abatement opportunity.

On why we could probably do without the feds altogether

News from the front desk 455: There have long been voices suggesting that three levels of government in Australia is simply impractical. But while state governments are often targeted for not doing enough, it’s the federal government that’s falling short on many key agenda items.

A day in 2030 in your sustainable home

Here’s what life will look like in 2030 if Australian governments adopt best practice energy standards that are currently on the table for our homes and appliances..

On why the government cares, it really really cares… A bit

PM Scott Morrison has announced he will tackle plastic recycling. Good. It’s ugly. It’s also politically safe topic thanks to the rapid escalation of concern that a single program, The War on Waste managed to churn up among the mums and dads of everywhere.

Five important ways the federal leadership could show leadership

The federal government keeps pushing back on taking responsibility for major national infrastructure centred on cities. But there are five good reasons it needs to reassess and take a leadership position.

2019 NSW budget light on sustainability

There’s not much to get excited about for sustainability in the 2019-20 NSW budget, which was handed down today (Tuesday).