In a media statement, the department stated that they would be "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 (February 2013) and were expected to reduce the cost of a new home by more than $5,000."
This is good news for those considering building a new home. A reduction in requirements such as these increases housing affordability. 2012 was a 'patchy' year for the building industry to say the least, with alarmingly low building approvals. November 2012 figures saw building approvals slump 1.5% overall. Despite this, the Master Builders Association (MBA) is optimistic about 2013, referring to the four interest rate cuts in 2012, and reductions in some mandatory building regulations.
Mr Bidwell of the MBA stated: "In recent years, state and federal governments have introduced regulations that add substantially to the cost of a new home, including mandatory water tanks, greenhouse-efficient hot water systems, the 6-star energy efficiency rating, the carbon tax, and local government infrastructure changes."
Early in 2012, the MBA commissioned a report into the cost effectiveness of water tanks as a water supply option for new homes. In a statement the MBA found: "The report showed that under most circumstances, there will be a net annual cost to household budgets to install and operate a tank, as the savings in water bills are usually insufficient to offset the costs of financing and operating the tank."
The decision to install a rainwater tank is now entirely up to each individual in the building of a new home. Of course, regional Queenslanders will almost always opt for the installation of a rainwater tank out of pure necessity, but for families living in suburban areas, the announcement has been welcomed, and assists in establishing consumer optimism for construction of new homes in 2013.