Tanks no longer necessary

Published Thursday, 14 February, 2013 at 05:30 AM

Minister for Housing and Public Works
The Honourable Tim Mander

Home affordability has been given a boost thanks to new laws scrapping the requirement for new properties to include rainwater tanks and energy efficient hot water systems.  

Minister for Housing and Public Works Tim Mander said the changes were effective as of the start of this month and were expected to reduce the cost of a new home by more than $5,000.   

“That’s good news for people looking to enter the property market and good news for the construction sector,” Mr Mander said.  

“Under the old laws people had no choice but to install a rainwater tank, regardless of whether they lived on a large block with extensive gardens and a swimming pool, or lived in a townhouse with one potplant.  

“Under these changes people are free to make decisions based on their own budget and lifestyle.  

“People who want to install rainwater tanks or a particular type of hot water system can still do so. The difference is that the decision is now theirs to make.”  

Mr Mander said the changes would also let owners of existing homes replace a broken electric hot water system with a similar model.  

“Under the old laws, people who lived in areas with reticulated natural gas were restricted to gas, solar or heat pump hot water systems, which often cost thousands of dollars more than the electric model they’re replacing.  

“Replacing a broken hot water system is often a significant, not to mention unexpected, expense and it’s not fair to force people to choose the more expensive product.” 

Under the new laws, Councils will be able to opt to retain mandatory rainwater tank requirements where they can prove a net benefit to the community.  

[ENDS] 14 February 2013

Media contact: Martin Kennedy 0407 643 998