GREEN LOAN UPDATE BY AUSTRALIAN MINISTER GARRETT

ABSA WELCOMES GREEN LOAN ANNOUNCEMENT

The Association of Building Sustainability Assessors (ABSA) has welcomed a
number of changes to the Green Loans Program announced today by the

Minister for Environment, Heritage and the Arts, Mr Garrett.

ABSA Chairman Wayne Floyd said today that many of the changes were in line> with the organisation’s representations to government.

ABSA is the accrediting body for assessors under the Household
Sustainability Assessment Scheme. Householders applied for a Green Loan
after having their home assessed by ABSA members, who must have completed a
training course, and obtained the required insurance cover and Police
check.

“Changes such as the extra 600,000 assessments and weekly caps on
assessment bookings are welcome. The announcement of additional work for
assessors under the Green Start program in 2011 should result in a
continuation of work for our members.

“These are all positive moves for the sustainability industry and will
help to ensure that our members can be more confident about their long term> future,” he said.

However, Mr Floyd said the cap of 5,000 assessors working on the Green
Loans Program would create problems. There are currently about 7,000
member assessors accredited by ABSA with a further 2,000 applications being
processed.

“We don’t know yet how the Department of Environment, Water, Heritage
and the Arts (DEWHA), which runs this scheme, will determine which of our> members will make the cut and who will lose out.

“This is particularly frustrating as ABSA warned the Department last
August that the number of people seeking accreditation as assessors was far
higher than anticipated and that there would be too many assessors for the> 360,000 assessments originally budgeted for.

There was also no mention in the announcement of quality control or
auditing, issues which ABSA would be vigorously pursuing with the
Department.

“ABSA will continue to have discussions with government to ensure the
long term viability of the sustainability industry” Mr Floyd said.

Received and published by Henry Sapiecha 1st May 2010>


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