6 August 2013 — The Green Building Council of Australia has welcomed the federal government’s decision to defer the introduction of a $2000 cap on self-education tax deductions until July 2015.

“The announcement last week by the Treasurer shows that the Government is starting to listen to the growing chorus of industry bodies, professional associations and individuals who are calling for the cap to be scrapped,” said GBCA chief operating officer Robin Mellon.

“We hope that the decision to defer is the first positive step towards abandoning the policy.”

The GBCA has argued that a tax on learning would hinder the adoption of green skills across Australia’s property and construction industry.

“A broad-based cap on self-education would be a barrier for professionals seeking the ongoing training and development they need to maintain Australia’s world-leading capabilities in sustainable building and development,” Mr Mellon said.

“People from professional services to trades recognise that sustainability principles and green skills must be integrated into industry at every level.

“Any policy that creates barriers or puts ongoing education and training out of the financial reach of Australian workers will undermine the competitiveness and productivity of our industries and economy.”