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Your views: on a Mt Barker building rule bypass and more

Today, readers comment on the state government exempting a Hills region from a national building code to lift energy ratings, and a less divisive national day.

Dec 06, 2023, updated Dec 06, 2023

Commenting on the story: Mount Barker homes exempted from national energy efficiency standard

It’s disappointing that the Government is looking at the narrow short term. The fact that Mount Barker has extreme summer highs and winter lows should be more of a reason to push for 7 stars than be used as a reason to delay it.

While not doing it avoids a small upfront cost (in the scale of building a house) it will lead to higher future cost through increased energy use to heat and cool the house. Further, many areas of Adelaide have reactive soils, so it’s not an excuse either. – Julian Thompson

It is bad enough that some of the most productive agricultural and lifestyle land in this region is being made available for poorly-planned low-density residential development, without appropriate supporting infrastructure. However, inflicting lifelong higher energy costs upon new home owners, and in effect making their new homes instantly out-of-date and worth significantly less in the future because they are so expensive to live in, represents a new level of negligence and spin.

There is no consideration of vulnerable first-home owners here. It costs far less to incorporate energy-reducing elements into a house when it is being built, rather attempt to retrofit them in the future, when the costs are often many times the original. Often they cannot be practically retrofitted at all.

There is plentiful evidence to demonstrate that energy reduction measures for houses pay themselves off in just a few years, and reduce the cost of ownership overall by significantly reducing household energy bills. Amongst other benefits, the resulting savings can be used to pay off home mortgages at an accelerated rate, with further savings to home owners.

These pay-back assessments assume energy will remain at current prices. Energy prices are hardly likely to go anywhere but up in the future. Similarly, they assume current weather conditions, and do not consider the predicted increased higher temperatures that modern buildings now factor in their design as a matter of course.

By having yesteryear’s high-energy-consuming design and construction, especially in a location where higher and lower temperatures prevail, these new houses will be far less desirable to prospective owners in the future – in effect a double negative for these vulnerable home owners. Higher living costs, lower asset value.

Potential home-owners do not seem to be the real beneficiaries of this exemption. – James Sage

One single and cost-neutral change for buildings in Mount Barker is to change from the Monument Grey (virtually black) roofing to a lighter colour.

Which idiot/s thought that Monument is the best colour for roofs? Add to this stupidity the lack of trees and vegetation, plus the closeness of each house to its neighbours. One can only infer that the main driving force is the greatest profit to be derived by the developers from the smallest area. – Ray Goulter

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Will the real estate agents for the builders tell the buyers that they will be left behind in re-sale results?

Champion’s remark suggests that Mount Barker needs the standards more, not less. Now, who was that Labor minister who did the original rezoning but is not around any more? – David Donaldson

Commenting on Insider: Have a Captain Cook at this:

I read with dismay the article about an attempt to “enshrine January 26 as Australia Day in the state legislation”. Why are people wedded to this date and where is the empathy with Indigenous peoples?

What is the purpose of Australia Day anyway?  My idea of Australia Day is a day to celebrate the wonderful land we live in, the rich tapestry of its peoples and the amazing legacy of the ancient cultures that evolved and continue to thrive here.

From time to time alternative dates have been suggested for Australia Day. Most dates I have seen revolve around commemorating some significant event which will resonate with some people and not with others/ making it inherently divisive. What if there was no event involved?

Why can’t Australia Day simply be celebrated on the last weekend of January every year. I don’t think it would be contentious. There would be no impact on the cricket, Australians love a long weekend and the weather is agreeable for the most part. Just a thought. – Michael Smiljanic

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