Conference paper

The Application of Taxation Benefits and Incentives for Green Building

02 Dec 2011

Australia’s National Strategy for Ecologically Sustainable Development endorses the establishment of taxation systems that take into account the social and environmental costs of resource use. In the context of the construction industry, the Green Building Council of Australia similarly promotes the concept of Ecologically Sustainable Development (ESD) and recognises the need to integrate economic instruments with sustainable practices. Historically, taxation incentives for ESD are available to the developer who outlays the funds as part of the development and construction process. However, the Green Building Council of Australia observes that “developers tend to focus on initial costs, rather than costs over the lifecycle of the building”. The purpose of this paper is to undertake a textual analysis of current and proposed legislation and policy instruments at the Commonwealth level to critique the distribution and application of tax incentives available to stakeholders in a commercial building. It is argued that some of the taxation incentives are of benefit mainly to the developer, since these incentives are primarily targeted towards the initial costs of the building rather than the life cycle of the building. Therefore, it is questionable whether this focus accords with the policy and intent of Australia’s ESD strategy. The research concludes with recommendations for changes in the application of taxation benefits and incentives for green buildings.
The State of Australian Cities (SOAC) national conferences have been held biennially since 2003 to support interdisciplinary policy-related urban research.This paper was presented at SOAC 5held in Melbourne from 29 November – 2 December 2011.SOAC 5 was hosted by the University of Melbourne, RMIT University, Monash University, Swinburne University of Technology and Latrobe University as well as the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute and the Grattan Institute, the Victorian State Government and the City of Melbourne.Three plenary panels brought researchers from across the country to address ‘big issues’: place-based disadvantage, the design and form of Australian cities, and metropolitan governance. Over 175 papers, in 46 themed sessions, cover topics ranging from planning and governance for environmental sustainability, to housing affordability and adequacy in the context of an aging population. Healthy communities, better public transport, high quality open space, participatory planning, and issues affecting the peri-urban fringe are also strong sub-themes within this conference.All published papers have been subject to a peer reviewing process.

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