Call for Act change to permit building upgrades

The Property Council has commenced a campaign to amend WA’s local government laws to enable building upgrade finance schemes in WA. 

“These schemes enable local governments, building owners, tenants and financiers to enter a joint agreement to fund building upgrades. The upgrades will result in lower operating costs for buildings including savings in energy costs for tenants that would not normally be viable with traditional financing methods.

“Similar schemes operate successfully in NSW, Victoria and South Australia following changes to their respective local government laws to permit local governments to enter into these agreements.

“In WA the Local Government Act is currently under review, which represents an opportunity to introduce provisions to implement the scheme in WA.

“These schemes require the participation of building owners, tenants, financiers and local governments.  The owner agrees to take on a loan to fund an upgrade with the repayment added to the council rates, which are passed on to tenants and the tenants benefit from an obligation on the owner to reduce the tenants’ building expenses.

“Building upgrade finance suits projects which are not viable with traditional lending facilities.  Often, they are too small, or the terms of traditional loans are not long enough to get the lengthy pay-back period required for environmental upgrades.

“Building upgrade finance is a solution to the growing number of under-utilised older buildings in Perth.

“They represent a triple win-win. The building owner benefits from higher asset values, tenants gain from better building facilities at ‘zero’ net extra cost, and the environment wins from less energy usage in buildings”, said Mr Iacomella.

For more information on building upgrade finance click here