Clean Business Australia
A Rudd Labor Government will invest $240 million to establish Clean Business Australia – a partnership with business and industry to deliver energy and water efficient projects with a focus on productivity and innovation. It is estimated that efficiency gains from Australia’s building sector alone could reduce the costs of tackling climate change across all sectors of the economy by almost 14 per cent and increase GDP by approximately $38 billion annually by 2050.1 Labor will establish Clean Business Australia within the Department of Industry, supporting projects through three new programs:
- the Green Building Fund;
- Re-tooling for Climate Change; and
- Climate Ready.
Green Building Fund
A Rudd Labor Government will establish a $90 million Green Building Fund to help Australian businesses implement cost-saving energy efficiency measures through the retrofitting and retro-commissioning of commercial buildings. The office sector alone is responsible for 27 per cent of commercial building emissions and 3.8 per cent of Australia’s total greenhouse pollution.2 The performance of many commercial office buildings can be optimised by modifying building controls, such as air-conditioning and lighting, and repairing simple malfunctions. Modelling conducted by the Centre for International Economics identifies savings of over $100 for every tonne of greenhouse gas emissions reduced from modifying commercial building appliances and air conditioning.3 Federal Labor’s plan will assist buildings to operate to the potential of their original design. This could reduce Australia’s total greenhouse pollution by 1.2 per cent.4 Election 07 Fact Sheet Clean Business Australia New Leadership 2
That is why Federal Labor will:
- Invest $90 million in the Green Building Fund to subsidise 50 per cent of the cost of retrofitting and retro-commissioning existing commercial office buildings, up to a maximum of $200,000 of Commonwealth funding per building.
- Assess funding applications on a competitive basis, with priority given to large buildings (over 5,000m2) for retro-commissioning, and on the basis of projected greenhouse savings for every dollar of Commonwealth funding contributed for retrofitting projects.
- Work with the commercial building sector to enhance building operator training and develop energy efficient operating and maintenance advisory guides.
A Rudd Labor Government will also work with the States and Territories, the building industry and other stakeholders to:
- Drive efficiency gains and cut red tape in national commercial building standards by harmonising the regulation of commercial building construction, refurbishment, performance assessment and rating.
- Ensure transparency and consistency across jurisdictions with national rating tools for the sustainable design and performance of commercial buildings, and recognising market leaders.
- Require disclosure of energy or environmental ratings for appropriate types of large commercial buildings at point of sale and point of lease. Mandatory disclosure will be phased in gradually, beginning with office buildings above a threshold of 5,000m2.
Re-tooling for climate change
A Rudd Labor Government will establish a new $75 million grants program for Australian manufacturers to help them improve their production processes, reduce their environmental footprint, and cut carbon emissions.
Grants of between $10,000 and $500,000 will be provided to small and medium sized companies, up to a third of the cost of each project. Small and medium sized manufacturers will also be able to get expert advice on how to improve their energy and water efficiency through the national Manufacturing Network, in which a Rudd Labor Government will invest up to $100 million. Applications for bigger grants or from larger manufacturers will be considered on a case by case basis.
In the decades to come, one of the best opportunities for Australian manufacturing will come from high tech, high quality, innovative products that are efficiently produced – in terms of both dollar and environmental costs. Today’s new appliances have star ratings indicating their operational energy efficiency. Under the Re-tooling for Climate Change program, Australian manufacturers will be able to apply for grants to help them to do things such as:
Improve the energy efficiency of their operations by establishing better processes, fixing leaks, improving insulation and recovering waste heat. Election 07 Fact Sheet Clean Business Australia New Leadership 3
- Invest in energy efficient manufacturing tools (for example, using variable rather than fixed speed drives).
- Invest in small scale cogeneration plants that capture waste energy and use it to produce electricity on site.
- Cut water wastage, increase stormwater capture and improve water recycling.
A Rudd Labor Government will commit $75 million to a new Climate Ready program to support the development and commercialisation of clean, green technologies in Australia. Australian inventors and small businesses have been inspired by the challenges of climate change and drought to create new products that save energy and water, reduce pollution and use waste products in innovative ways. Federal Labor’s Climate Ready program will support the development and introduction of such products to the market. For example:
- Water recycling, waste recovery or small scale renewable energy technologies.
- Green building materials to make homes more energy efficient and more comfortable.
- New technologies to reduce the energy used by appliances, cutting emissions and household power bills.
Under Climate Ready, funding will be provided on a dollar for dollar basis, matching company spending on research and development, proof-of-concept and commercialisation activities to develop clean technologies.
Consideration will be given to waiving the existing $5 million per project cap under the Commercial Ready program on a case-by-case basis for projects that are assessed as having significant potential to help Australia meet the challenge of climate change. Because Federal Labor is committed to reducing red tape, we will also examine ways to streamline the application process for the whole Commercial Ready program. A less onerous application process will enable Australia’s innovative businesses to get on with the job. A huge global market is developing in clean, green technology. Australian industry has the creativity and drive to deliver such products to world markets.
This initiative demonstrates Federal Labor’s commitment to working in partnership with Australian industry to secure jobs and meet the challenges of the future through innovation.
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