PEAK building and construction industry group Master Builders Australia has called on the federal government to provide compensation and tax concessions to offset the cost of bringing Australian buildings up to green standards. Master Builders Australia chief executive Wilhelm Harnisch said dealing with climate change was extremely challenging for the building and construction industry. “The introduction of climate change measures will not only require sweeping change throughout the building and construction industry supply chain, but will also require significant adjustments to be made by prospective home buyers, existing home and building owners and the broader community,” Mr Harnisch said. “Building and retro-fitting houses and other commercial buildings to make them less carbon intensive will be expensive. “Additionally, we face an ageing population that is increasingly asset rich and income poor, so any costs associated with retrofitting of homes needs to be dealt with in terms of social equity.” Mr Harnisch said the MBA would request accelerated depreciation for commercial buildings, and tax concessions or rebates for homeowners. “In the residential sector, we face the cold hard reality that moving towards carbon neutrality will result in higher cost to every person in Australia,” he said. “This will heighten the pressure on all levels of government to deal with land supply and housing affordability issues.”
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