As part of its 'Cleaner, Greener Buildings' election
commitment in 2009 and its 'ClimateQ: Toward a greener
Queensland' policy, the Queensland Labor Government announced
it was committed to introducing a range of policies aimed at
reducing energy demand in the building sector.
One such policy is the 'Green Door Policy'. It is
difficult to write this article without the words of the
Shakin' Stevens song drumming inside my head. However, in
short, the Green Door Policy is designed to fast track new
sustainable developments through the often long and complex
integrated development assessment system (IDAS) under the
Sustainable Development Act 2009 (SPA) and related legislation. If
you are interested in how to 'join the happy crowd behind the
Green Door', read on...
When fully implemented the Green Door Policy will see amendments
to SPA which expand the Planning Minister's power to issue
ministerial directions to local governments at any time to fast
track approvals where proposed developments exhibit exemplary
sustainability features. This will be done by explicitly defining
sustainable development as a 'State interest' under SPA.
Amendments to SPA have not yet been proposed to implement this
The Department will also designate 'Sustainable Development
Case Managers' to provide a dedicated single entry point to
government for all major sustainable development. This is intended
to improve coordination of state agency approvals and advice,
liaison with local governments and apparently 'clear any
roadblocks that arise'.
Who's behind the Green Door?
A further component of the policy is the establishment of a
Green Door Advisory Committee. The composition of the Committee was
announced on Friday, 15 October 2010 and comprises:
Green Building Council of Australia: Project Leader Mr Adam
Housing Industry Association Assistant: Director Mr Mike
Local Government Association of Queensland: Mr Mark
Planning Institute of Australia Queensland: Vice President Mr
Queensland Property Council of Australia: Policy and Advocacy
Manager Johanna de Winter
Queensland University of Technology, Centre for Subtropical
Design: Director Ms Rosemary Kennedy, and
Urban Development Institute of Australia: Chief Executive and
General Counsel Mr Brian Stewart.
The purpose of the Committee is to:
Recommend eligibility criteria for identifying Green Door
Provide the Minister for Infrastructure and Planning with
expert advice and guidance on the role of the Sustainable
Development Case Manager in relation to particular projects and the
use of the Ministerial IDAS
Support the Sustainable Development Case Managers and
assessment managers with technical and procedural advice
Be responsible for monitoring the progress of selected
projects, providing reports and making recommendations for
progressing sustainable outcomes through Green Door in the future,
Provide advice on sustainability features and technologies that
will assist the decision making process under SPA and
Green Door, what's that secret you're keepin'?
Given that the sustainability eligibility criteria are yet to be
determined, it seems that the Green Door is still keeping some
secrets. However, this is certainly an initiative worth watching
and may result in benefits for certain future developments that
might otherwise get caught up in the complexities of IDAS.
1 Media Release, Green door swings open to invite more
sustainability in Queensland, 15 October 2010
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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This legal update is an overview of existing eligible project activities and new project types proposed to be developed.
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