News from the front desk: After a full day of robust discussion about redirecting the built environment along a less wasteful and carbon intensive path, on Wednesday morning The Fifth Estate woke up to NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet’s jovial hit list of Sydney buildings he’d love to demolish.
What a great time for NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet to really put his foot in it and issue his hit list on buildings he thinks are ugly.
And thus, the illustrious Dominic Perrottet came swinging in on a wrecking ball, invoking perhaps Miley Cyrus and her infamous 2013 music video, out to erase a hit list of buildings which he has declared blemishes blighting the beauty of Sydney – from the MLC Centre to the Cahill Expressway, from Sydney Aquarium to every Brutalist Building, ever.
News from the front desk: The NSW government wants to do with land tax and stamp duty what it’s signalled it’s doing with energy and climate policy: something radical, innovative and what advocates have urged for decades.
“The lawyer I respect most, a blind man on a galloping horse, can read every IPART report and conclude none of the tribunal members have read these sections or, if they have, have chosen to ignore them”. Pricing of NSW government water, transport and energy monopolies has failed. “Once we allow ourselves to be disobedient […]
Some thoughts on Matt Kean and the PM, from
Simon Corbell, and the brave new front of the climate challenge that will appear (streamed live from a television studio) at our Building Circularity symposium.
As an environmental scientist, I have long puzzled as to why climate science is so contentious.
News from the front desk, Issue 503: Was there ever such vicarious interest in another country’s election as in that of the US election this week?
Action to make Australia’s housing resilient in the face of climate change has never been more urgent – and the post-pandemic recovery should be the time to do it.
Load management has been a concern for electricity networks since the very beginning. In the late 19th century, before the advent of tiered electricity tariffs, it was common for a quarter of the load on distribution systems to occur for fewer than two hours a day.
We may be nearing “peak city”. This shift undermines all of the place-based strategies that economic development organisations have been promoting for decades. It’s a topic David Levinson will be addressing at the Festival of Urbanism 13-26 November.
COMMENT: Now we tend to not like the Productivity Commission much, mainly it’s our unforgiving nature for when it said we should deregulate zoning as a way of making housing more affordable. It certainly would make houses more affordable, because no-one would want to live there. But that’s another story entirely to what hit us […]
On the face of it the handling of the pandemic and who might be best to lead the Sunshine State out of the doom and gloom it’s caused is dominating the mainstream coverage of the Queensland election this weekend. But on closer inspection, environmental issues are front and centre in some of the seats that […]
News from the front desk: We know, we know…our massive 127-page ebook Flick the Switch based on our event on net zero and all electric buildings and cities, is barely off the virtual printing presses and here we are announcing a new event, with ebook to come.
ANALYSIS: With the news this week that Tesla is now the most valuable car company in the world, there’s a sense that the green transport revolution has kicked up a gear.
It certainly seems that in life’s frantic struggle to compete and be competitive, one’s level of productivity is the definitive measure of one’s worth. But does this really need to be the case?
News from the front desk: We called someone in NZ this week to canvass a new project on embodied carbon we’re running. Even though we’ve barely started to digest the massive 127 ebook we just published on net zero and operational energy.
First we had “slow food”, “slow parenting”, “slow fashion” and “slow gardening”. Now there’s a “slow cities” movement emerging, where people take slower modes of transport to reduce damage on public health and the environment.
UPDATED: News from the front desk Issue 500: The federal government is like the shy kid who wants to join the A list. It’s poking around the edges. Sticking a toe in here, a bit of nosey peek there. It can see the crowd closing tight and paradoxically growing bigger. More and more of the […]
One of the more curious things about economic policymaking in Australia is how certain policies manage to endure for so long in the face of overwhelming evidence that they don’t work. The continued belief in the power of lower interest rates to spur growth is a case in point. For at least the last 10 […]
Could an algorithm write any number of bestsellers or compose a symphony to match Bach or Beethoven or stretch our imaginations and allow us to travel through time like Marty McFly? Ultimately. Probably. Yes! Biomedical engineer and inventor, Jordan Nguyen, says that technology is evolving faster than at any time before, but possibly at the […]
If you caught the ABC’s Four Corners episode on Monday night about the dire state of our economy, you’d have seen the eerie shots of near-empty streets that were once the busiest in the country. It’s no surprise that Melbourne’s CBD is still deserted but new data from the Property Council of Australia shows that […]
The following is a response to the NSW Productivity Commission Green Paper. The Green Paper argued zoning is restrictive and recommended it be loosened. Unfortunately, the Commission misses the forest for the trees and fails to recognise the economic and strategic value of zoning. Economic recovery has thrown up complex tasks for government, with minds […]
Metaphorically, the pandemic has cast a very oblique light across our apparently flat policy terrain. Many seemingly solid and settled policy positions are now revealed as wafer-thin ideologies. Deep unbridgeable chasms between implacably opposed world views now separate what used to seem like mild differences of opinion. Some even consider that the pandemic has triggered […]
No individual person, country or organisation can solve the myriad of challenges facing societies. Collaboration is critical – and businesses can, and should, be at the forefront, using their business to positively impact their stakeholders and the environment. There is a global community of companies that believe in the power of business to help solve […]
Tone Wheeler of Environa Studio says there are three options to find land for affordable housing: government, churches and philanthropists. The government seems little interested and same with philanthropists, he says. In a new position paper on affordable housing commissioned by Churches Housing, Wheeler makes the case for social housing on church land. Social housing […]
“You cannot be serious!” As an irate John McEnroe protested in that now-famous 1981 line call at Wimbledon in a heated exchange with umpire Edward James. And with just as much passion and utter bewilderment, it about sums up the PM’s call to implement a Grand Gas Plan that will save us from two sets […]
While the New South Wales government’s revamped housing diversity policy is being touted as the answer to the state’s shortfalls in affordable housing, I believe the unintended consequences may have the opposite effect. The proposed changes (Housing Diversity SEPP) are far more likely to suffocate future supply. This is due to the removal of provisions […]
Sustainability expert Alan Pears sets out key recovery priorities for a post-Covid economy. Also: the need (or lack thereof) for seasonal storage, and the problem of our ageing data resources. There is a widening gulf between the Australian government’s economic recovery plan and an ever increasing number of studies. Internationally, the International Energy Agency, United […]
News from the Front Desk, Issue 498: John Hewson former Liberal leader is starting to change his tune on climate change: he’s becoming more optimistic. Christiana Figueres, the global climate powerhouse of negotiation, agrees. And so does business. South Pole, a global company that offsets carbon for corporates and consults on sustainability and climate to […]