Sustainability form 'still flawed'

THE GOVERNMENT’S bungled sustainability declaration forms have now been doctored in the wake of hundreds of Fraser Coast residents calling for action.

The third version of the mandatory green home report card was released late last week but the form was “still flawed”, Opposition Infrastructure and Planning spokesman David Gibson said.

And former local REIQ chairman Alan Wetton, who fought hard to convince the government to drop the new law, says the form is now easier for some people to complete but is still an unnecessary impost on the public.

The State Government introduced a mandatory Sustainability Declaration form on January 1, requiring home owners to declare their property’s green credentials or risk a $2000 fine.

Mandatory disclosure has been criticised by property experts as an unwarranted expense that will not influence purchasing decisions or cut household pollution.

“The government has done a cosmetic job on the sustainability declaration by removing the questions on access and safety that were really superfluous to the intent of the declaration anyway,” Mr Wetton said.

“They have renumbered the remaining 20 questions and removed some of the clutter of the potential savings and the report card that even the ‘experts’ had trouble completing.”

“The Sustainability Declaration form has put unnecessary stress on the Qld home owners and has spawned an array of people willing to charge money to fill in the supposedly simple and straightforward form,” Mr Gibson said.

Mr Wetton, who is the principal of LJ Hooker Maryborough, said the Government and the REIQ had an opportunity to make some useful contributions to the sale of property in Qld.

“But instead the government wastes a huge amount of scarce funds on a useless piece of legislation.

“Why the government doesn’t get expert advice or doesn’t listen to the advice it receives from industry professionals is a source of amazement. They continually get legislation wrong and cause a minefield for buyers, sellers and a gravy train for lawyers.”

More than 5500 people have signed a petition calling for the form to be scrapped, including several hundred on the Coast.

The Council of Australian Government’s National Strategy on Energy Efficiency says Mandatory Disclosure will “help households and businesses prepare for the introduction of the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme”.

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