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Ecologically Sustainable Development

We plan and conduct our operations in accordance with the principles of ecologically sustainable development set out in the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.

Old Parliament House’s outcome and activities contribute to ecologically sustainable development both by conserving and maintaining unique heritage assets for future generations and by promoting awareness of the economic, environmental, and social and equity considerations that have shaped decision-making and development in Australia.

The heritage values of Old Parliament House are managed under the Old Parliament House and Curtilage Heritage Management Plan 2015–2020, which includes the entity’s obligations under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act.

Our heritage management framework, including the Heritage Management Plan and the Heritage Actions Committee, ensures that the principles of ecologically sustainable development are considered when decisions are made that may affect the heritage values and environment of the building and its surroundings.

Our Operational Environmental Management Plan provides a framework and recommendations through which we improve environmental management.

Table 13 lists measures carried out in 2018–19 to minimise the impact of the agency’s activities on the environment.

Table 13 Environmental measures, 2018–19



Energy efficiency

All building operations were effectively managed to achieve optimal energy performance.

To maximise energy efficiency, the following principles were applied:

  • where practical, purchasing equipment that has an Energy Star standard of four stars or better
  • using energy management options that enable office equipment to power down when not in use
  • not allowing energy-intensive or unapproved electrical items for personal use.

Other energy-saving measures included:

  • switching off all non-essential lights at appropriate times
  • using curtains or blinds at appropriate times to maximise the effectiveness and efficiency of air-conditioning and heating systems
  • upgrading heating, ventilation and air-conditioning plant
  • installing LED lighting and motion detecting sensors
  • utilising the building management system and remote monitoring of performance for further improvement.

Water conservation

Water-saving measures included:

  • conducting regular inspections and repairs on all heritage taps and cisterns
  • replacing leaking pipes and valves
  • scoping water conservation measures in all new works, having regard to heritage responsibilities
  • auditing all hydraulic infrastructure in preparation for upgrade works.

Paper use

Paper use was minimised by using print management software, clearing all print queues daily and having double-sided printing as the default setting.


Recycling facilities were used to minimise the amount of waste going to landfill.