Australia: Union boss on green building board

The Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) has appointed a trade union heavyweight to its board in the hope of finding new opportunities for ‘green collar’ workers. Sharan Burrow, president of the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) has been appointed to the board.

Announcing the appointment, the GBCA’s Chair Tony Arnel said Ms Burrow would be an asset to the strong leadership already present on the Council’s Board of Directors.

“We are delighted to welcome Ms Burrow to the board as an Independent Director. Her appointment is appropriate and timely, given the potential of the green building industry to create thousands of ‘green collar’ jobs essential to Australia’s future,” Mr Arnel says.
Research published earlier this year by Davis Langdon has found that refurbishing a significant quantity of office stock to high environmental standards could create more than 27,000 new jobs across the broader economy, Mr Arnel says.
“The GBCA is committed to delivering industry-leading education and training to expand knowledge about green building practices and we look forward to working with Ms Burrow to identify new opportunities for ‘green collar’ workers,” Mr Arnel says.
Ms Burrow is looking forward to the challenges of working with the GBCA. “Green building construction will be a key driver in creating new skills and jobs, as well as reducing greenhouse gas emissions as Australia makes the critical transition to a low carbon economy,” says Ms Burrow.
Ms Burrow is also a founding member of the Southern Cross Climate Coalition, formed last June by the ACTU, the Australian Conservation Foundation, the Climate Institute and the Australian Council of Social Services.
“Ms Burrow is well placed to help the GBCA drive the adoption of green building practices in Australia, and to ensure Australia’s workers have the knowledge and skills to capture our share of the global green building market,” Mr Arnel concludes.

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