Trees in a suburb

The Council Alliance for a Sustainable Built Environment’s (CASBE) 24 member councils state that the group lodged an innovative planning scheme amendment with the Victorian Government in 2022, and are yet to see a response from the Victorian Minister for Planning a year later.  

The councils, as part of the CASBE, lodged the amendment to introduce planning policy that elevates sustainability requirements for new buildings and encourages a move towards net zero carbon development.  

The amendment builds on the current Environmentally Sustainable Development (ESD) requirements for new developments and in doing so, aims to better protect the natural environment, reduce resource and energy consumption, and support the health and wellbeing of future occupants. 

CASBE Executive Officer, Natasha Palich, said councils have led the way on sustainability requirements but need the buy-in of the State Government. 

“The World Meteorological Organisation recently confirmed that in early July the world had the hottest week ever recorded. That’s motivation enough to put politics aside and have all levels of government work together on action,” Ms Palich said. 

“CASBE councils believe the detailed measurable targets in the Elevating ESD Targets Planning Scheme Amendment will deliver meaningful outcomes in practice, and we call on Minister Kilkenny to progress this amendment as a matter of urgency. 

“Local governments have long led work towards net zero carbon in new builds, but we need strong policy at the early design stage to create real change and ensure our buildings will deliver zero carbon outcomes.

“Too often councils have seen their hard work disappear into the bureaucracy of the Victorian Government. We implore the Minister not to let that happen with this amendment, because it provides a tangible solution for greater sustainability outcomes for new development.”

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