The City of Melbourne and the state government aim to retrofit more than two thirds of Melbourne’s commercial buildings in a bold sustainability initiative, the largest transformation the city has seen in 160 years.
The program – a first of its kind in Australia – will create 800 new green jobs and generate $1.3 billion in economic activity.
Lord Mayor Robert Doyle says the program will transform Melbourne’s city centre, bringing about a ‘green gold rush’.
“The 1200 buildings program is one of the greatest economic and environmental opportunities we have and will place Melbourne at the cutting edge of the green building movement. It will transform existing commercial buildings into centres of environmental innovation, showcases of engineering excellence and engines of economic growth.
“Sixteen organisations, including the City of Melbourne, managing 30 buildings have taken a leadership role in signing up to the program – each committing to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by 38 percent.”
Planning Minister Justin Madden has also announced the approval of $500,000 to support the expansion of the City of Melbourne program.
“The Victorian government is proud to support the 1200 Buildings program, which is a leading example of building a sustainable city for the future,” Mr Madden says.
“The Victorian government is committed to enabling the 1200 Buildings program to operate at full capacity in a commercial market.”
The State government is also collaborating with the City of Melbourne to investigate a viable financial mechanism which will give building owners access to low-cost finance for retrofits as part of the 1200 Buildings program.
Congratulating the first signatories, the Lord Mayor says Council has signed up to retrofit two of its own historic buildings.
“Council is putting its money where its policies are by including Melbourne Town Hall and the former Commonwealth Bank Building at 225 Bourke Street,” the Lord Mayor says.
“Buildings that meet high environmental standards, use fewer resources and save their owners money in the long term are also much more attractive stock for buyers and tenants. It’s smart economics.”