10 June 2020

Jeremy Burke: “Last week’s homebuilder policy was a blunder, leaving too many benefits on the table, and handing out budget treats to the wrong people and projects. For less than the $25,000 homebuilder grant we could retrofit a social housing property. On average this would cover solar, a hot water heat pump, upgrades to thermal performance (through underfloor, cavity or rooftop insulation, sealing and draught-stopping), a good-sized battery, and replacing gas heating with electric. … Fewer energy-wasting houses means lower peak energy demand, so all our bills come down. Fewer houses with temperature spikes in summer and plunges in winter mean better health outcomes, so health costs reduce. More money in the pockets of low-income tenants means higher ongoing spending, further stimulating the economy.  Then there’s jobs. This is a jobs-rich industry. Today’s energy solutions combine hard assets with integrated digital technology — leading to appealing careers for younger Australians, who increasingly want to combine digital with sustainable. Experienced tradies, facing reduced work, can mentor newcomers. … We have this chance; all it needs is leadership to chart a different course. If we set this up well, we can go beyond a green new deal; Australia can have a green and gold new deal that’s fairer for all.”