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Property Council welcomes reduction in energy efficiency red tape

16 February, 2015

The Property Council of Australia has welcomed the passage through the Federal Parliament of a long overdue legislative amendment to streamline the disclosure of energy performance for office buildings.

Chief Executive Ken Morrison said the Government deserves full marks for taking the property industry's legitimate concerns on board and acting to improve the operation of the Commercial Building Disclosure (CBD) Scheme.

"Sustainability makes not only environmental, but economic sense," Morrison said.

"We all benefit from better energy efficiency in our buildings and the disclosure of energy efficiency ratings is an important mechanism for achieving this.

"However, the way the CBD scheme has been operating since its introduction in 2010 has created costly and inefficient red tape.

"Flaws in the original design of the scheme have created a major barrier to transactions for the sale and lease of office space in certain circumstances.

"We are delighted the Government has now taken on board our concerns and improved the way the scheme operates.

"This is an excellent example of the benefits of the Federal Government's deregulation agenda in action, and we thank both major parties for their support for this amendment.

"Australia has the world's most sustainable property industry according to the Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark."

The Building Energy Efficiency Disclosure Amendment Bill 2014, which passed the Senate with yesterday, will introduce disclosure exemptions for building owners who receive unsolicited offers for the sale or lease of office space.

Until now, building owners were unable to enter sale or lease discussions unless they had undergone time-consuming performance assessments in advance. This requirement applied even where the transaction was between a parent company and wholly-owned subsidiary. The changes which will now take effect mean tenants and purchasers get the information they need without calcifying market transactions.

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