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Wednesday, 22 October 2014
Page: 11669


Mr BALDWIN (PatersonParliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Industry) (16:33): I move:

That this bill be now read a second time.

This government is committed to supporting Australian businesses through cutting red tape and improving energy productivity to deliver positive outcomes for all Australians.

The Commercial Building Disclosure Program, supported by the Building Energy Efficiency Disclosure Act 2010, continues to represent one of the most cost-effective opportunities to reduce the use of energy in commercial buildings and improve productivity across the sector.

Since its commencement in November 2011, the CBD Program has transformed the commercial property market. Office buildings with better energy efficiency ratings consistently deliver greater returns for investors, and energy efficiency is now considered a normal part of commercial property transactions.

Commercial building and energy efficiency stakeholders have been actively engaged in the CBD Program and continue to support its important role in driving energy productivity across Australia's property sector.

The Building Energy Efficiency Disclosure Amendment Bill I bring before you today has been generated in response to requests from industry stakeholders since the inception of the CBD Program. It contains a number of improvements to the original act that will streamline the administration and reduce the regulatory burden on business.

The bill will enable building owners to respond to unsolicited offers—and uninvited requests to sell or lease office space—without having a Building Energy Efficiency Certificate in place.

The bill will allow businesses the ability to nominate a commencement date for a Building Energy Efficiency Certificate (BEEC) which is later than the date of issue. This will provide greater flexibility for businesses wishing to proactively maintain current BEECs for their property portfolios.

The bill will remove the need for new owners and lessors to reapply or pay the application fee for fresh exemptions if there is a valid one in place for a building, and it will allow transactions between wholly owned subsidiaries to be excluded from the disclosure obligations.

Finally, the bill will remove the requirement for pages of standard energy efficiency guidance text on the BEEC. Instead, building owners will be able to access live and interactive online information about improving energy efficiency for their individual office buildings.

All up, the bill will lead to an estimated $600,000 worth of reduction in regulatory burden on businesses. I commend this bill to the House.

Debate adjourned.