Left to right: Tony Arnel Green Building Council Chair, Robyn Parker, NSW Envionment Minister; Darren Steinberg, Dexus

8 March 2012 – NSW Environment Minister Robyn Parker opened Green Cities 2012 on Sunday night with a challenge to other states and territories. Her promise was that NSW will lead the nation in green buildings and energy efficiency.

It was an exciting time in her portfolio, the minister said, with the success of the NABERS rating scheme “making sure that energy efficiency is at the top of our list.

“We came to office determined to make NSW No 1 again and we are determined to take a lead on green buildings and on energy efficiency.”

The venue for the event, 1 Bligh Street in Sydney, part owned by the event host Dexus, was an example of the kind of building that any tenant would aspire to Ms Parker said.

“By making businesses and (energy use) more efficient it puts downward pressure of cost of doing business, on the cost of goods and services and on the cost of living. It benefits everyone in NSW and it’s is just common sense. It’s about the hip pocket and it’s about the environment  and it’s just a no brainer.

“Our government is working very well with the sustainable property industry. We’re keen to achieve better environment outcomes, better social outcome and better economic outcomes.

“Managing that national scheme has put us on the map and industry has enthusiastically embraced that system,” Parker said.

“There was 14.5 million square metres of space now rated across Australia, about half of total office space.

“Each year NABERS has helped save 257,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas and 1.1 billion litres of water.”

The comments will resonate with observers especially in Victoria who believe their state government has dropped the ball on sustainability and relinquished its leadership position on sustainable business initiatives.