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Knox leading towards net zero

Knox City Council has joined forces with 23 other Victorian councils to push for greater sustainability requirements for new development.

Council has lodged a planning scheme amendment with the Victorian Government, seeking to elevate sustainability requirements for new buildings and encourage a move towards net zero carbon development.

The amendment seeks to build on the current Environmentally Sustainable Development (ESD) requirements for new developments and in doing so, better protect the natural environment, reduce resource and energy consumption, and support the health and wellbeing of future occupants.

Knox Mayor, Cr Susan Laukens said Council was leading the way on tackling climate change with these real-world tangible actions.

“Knox is pleased to be joining with 23 Victorian councils on this incredibly important work. Local government has long led work towards net zero carbon in new builds, but we need governments across all levels – state and federal – to work together if we want to create real change,” she said.

“Improving the energy efficiency of buildings and increasing renewable energy use is critical to achieving Council’s plan to reach net zero emissions by 2040 for the community and by 2030 for its own operations.”

Along with the amendment, Knox City Council has written to the new Minister for Planning, Lizzie Blandthorn asking her to support the amendment and to acknowledge that the current planning requirements do not reflect the urgency needed to tackle climate change.

“Minister Blandthorn has an opportunity to set her agenda in the planning portfolio and Knox City Council calls on her and her colleagues in the Victorian Government to strengthen environmentally sustainable development to help make net zero carbon in new builds a reality across Victoria,” Cr Laukens said.

The amendment is the next step in improving ESD requirements with detailed, measurable targets that will deliver meaningful outcomes in practice. Under the proposed changes, new developments would:

  • Produce net zero carbon emissions
  • Reduce household bills by making buildings more energy efficient
  • Provide a healthier and more comfortable environment for building occupants
  • Better manage water quality, use and collection
  • Protect and enhance greening and biodiversity
  • Be more resilient to changing climate impacts

The 24 councils represent approximately half the Victorian population and planning activity. Other councils involved are Ballarat, Banyule, Bayside, Boroondara, Darebin, Frankston, Glen Eira, Greater Bendigo, Greater Dandenong, Greater Geelong, Hobsons Bay, Maribyrnong, Mitchell, Moonee Valley, Moreland, Mornington Peninsula, Port Phillip, Stonnington, Strathbogie, Warrnambool, Whitehorse, Whittlesea and Yarra.

Knox City Council is undertaking this work as a member of the Council Alliance for a Sustainable Built Environment (CASBE), supported by the Municipal Association of Victoria (MAV).

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