Built environment

The opportunity to develop more efficient and climate resilient buildings and infrastructure will reduce running costs and avoid expensive reconstruction in the long term.

Low carbon construction materials and methods, such as green concrete and engineered timber, combined with resilient building expertise could create export opportunities for Queensland’s construction and manufacturing industries.

Government action

There are a range of programs in Queensland that support households and businesses to become more energy efficient, move to renewable energy and increase resilience to climate hazards. The Queensland Government is also supporting the construction sector and infrastructure managers to increase climate resilience through programs that promote effective land-use decisions and more sustainable infrastructure design.

Existing actions include:

  • Investments

    • Queensland has invested in the Australian Sustainable Built Environment Council’s (ASBEC) Building Code Energy Performance Trajectory Project to improve the energy performance of buildings, and in the Built to Perform in Northern Australia report (PDF, 1.43MB) with a special focus on tropical climate zones.
    • The Queensland Government has invested heavily in climate science to support risk assessments and decision-making, with high-resolution climate projection data available via the Queensland Future Climate Dashboard.
    • Queensland Government made a commitment to establish an office of Hospital Sustainability within the Department of Health. The office will be directly responsible for implementing the $30 million Emissions Reduction Program as well as:
      • setting benchmarks and targets for environmental sustainability in Queensland Health
      • ensuring investment in green/sustainable infrastructure for hospitals
      • review of procurement policies and practices to manage waste and procure environmentally sustainable products
      • advice and support on managing the effects of climate change on Queensland’s healthcare system.
  • Actions

    • The Queensland Government is supporting Sustainable Building to help Queenslanders save money by building energy efficient homes and removing restrictions on installing solar hot water panels.
    • The Queensland Government is actively participating in national forums to recommend and develop improved energy efficiency related building codes and standards. These include the Energy Minister’s Meeting (EMM) (formally the COAG Energy Council) which oversees the National Energy Productivity Plan (NEPP) and the Building Ministers Meeting (BMM), and the Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB) which manages the ongoing development of the National Construction Code.
    • Queensland Government projects that are valued over $100 million must complete a sustainability assessment. Projects under $100 million are also encouraged to complete an assessment.
    • The Queensland State Planning Policy considers matters relating to climate change adaptation and emissions mitigation, including a state interest guideline for natural hazards, risk and resilience.
  • Plans

    • In 2017, the Queensland Government release the Queensland Building Plan, which guides policy and legislation changes to create a safer, fairer and more sustainable construction industry. This includes guidance on reducing the emissions impact of buildings.

Climate action projects

View all climate action projects

Jobs and skills for Queensland’s future

Existing initiatives to help create jobs and skill Queenslanders for future opportunities in the built environment sector include:

  • The Built Environment and Infrastructure Sector Adaptation Plan (PDF, 1MB) is a sector-led collaboration. It outlines the key climate risks for the sector, and the barriers and enablers to respond to risk and resource gaps. The plan outlines the principles and actions to support the sector to adapt to climate change.
  • The Building our Regions program provides $365 million to support council infrastructure projects in regional communities that create flow-on economic development opportunities and jobs.
  • The Queensland Building Plan includes sustainable building measures that support emission reduction initiatives at the state and national levels.
  • The Queensland Climate Resilient Councils (Q-CRC) is a five-year program funded by the Queensland Government and delivered by the Local Government Association of Queensland (LGAQ). The program is working with local governments to review and strengthen internal council decision-making processes to respond to climate change.
  • The QCoast2100 program assists councils to develop coastal hazard adaptation strategies for communities at risk from coastal erosion, storm tide inundation and climate change sea level rise.
  • The Queensland Government provides targeted investment through a number of vocational education and training programs to assist the building and construction industry to train and upskill their current and future workforce and provide apprenticeship and traineeship opportunities.
  • The Queensland Government Building and Construction Training Policy supports employment opportunities and skills development in Queensland's building and construction industry. The policy requires contractors to employ apprentices and trainees and undertake other workforce training as a mandated component of being awarded work on eligible Queensland Government projects.
  • The Queensland Government has partnered with Construction Skills Queensland (CSQ) to raise awareness of the different pathways into the building and construction industry through the Building and Construction Gateway to Industry Schools project. The project exposes students to a range of learning experiences to help plan their future career choices and provide pathways into para-professional roles in the building and construction industry.

What you can do

Community, business and industry are encouraged to take action to harness opportunities in a low carbon future.

Read about the Queensland Government’s current grants and funding opportunities.

More sectors

  • The Queensland Government’s commitment to unlock renewable investment and achieve our renewable energy target of 50% by 2030 is a key mechanism to support our emissions reduction targets.

  • The production of wind turbines, solar cells, batteries and high-tech devices like mobile phones offers opportunities for Queensland’s resources sector. ‘critical minerals’ like copper, cobalt and graphite are critical to these products and place Queensland in a unique position to contribute to the developing high-tech, low carbon economy.

  • The manufacturing sector underpins many other sectors of the Queensland economy, making it important that new technologies and practices are adopted to enhance production and competitiveness.

  • The shift to zero-emission vehicles, including batteries, fuel cells and biofuels, and complementary industries, such as the manufacture of green hydrogen and sustainable mining of essential minerals, can create new manufacturing businesses and jobs. There are also wider benefits from a zero emission future including lower transport costs and improved air quality that will contribute to more liveable and resilient Queensland communities.

  • The shift to a low-carbon future presents significant opportunities for Queensland’s land and agriculture sector and its supply chain to deliver productivity, profitability and environmental benefits.

  • The opportunity to develop more efficient and climate resilient buildings and infrastructure will reduce running costs and avoid expensive reconstruction in the long term.

  • The Queensland tourism industry has the opportunity to demonstrate best practice sustainability and build on Queensland’s reputation as a first-class tourism destination.

  • First Nations communities have a deep and enduring relationship with—and connection and responsibility to—land, sea and sky; a connection that is impacted by climate change.