The sun will definitely shine on Shepparton’s new five-storey law court complex once it’s complete.
But will the building be able to make the best use of it?
State Member for Shepparton Suzanna Sheed has questioned how green the city’s new, improved and fast-developing courthouse building will be.
In parliament last week, Ms Sheed posed a constituency question to the state’s Attorney-General.
‘‘Can the Attorney advise what energy-saving and energy-producing features have been incorporated into the design of the new Shepparton law courts?’’ Ms Sheed asked.
‘‘Constituents in my community have recently had the opportunity to tour the new court and have raised questions with my office about its solar energy generating capacity.’’
Ms Sheed said renewable energy remained ‘‘one of the cornerstone policies of this government’’ and it would make sense to capitalise on the sunshine Shepparton received ‘‘almost every day of the year.’’
‘‘The new Shepparton law courts will be an outstanding addition to the city, and they provide an opportunity for state-of-the-art energy conservation features,’’ she said.
Goulburn Valley Environment Group president John Pettigrew said new landmark buildings being constructed in the city, including the new five-storey Shepparton Art Museum at Victoria Park Lake, should lead by example and be built to be as sustainable as possible.
Mr Pettigrew questioned whether opportunities had been missed in not bringing the community along with decisions made and features integrated in the courthouse.
‘‘What’s taken up in these buildings is often dictated by budgets,’’ he said.
Mr Pettigrew said if long-term operational costings were taken into account, developers ‘‘might come up with a different answer’’ and pay more attention to energy-saving measures.
Ms Sheed believed the courthouse had been designed sustainably, but this week said she wanted to know about the details.
She said constituents had asked her about whether solar panels would be used on the new building and questioned what energy efficiency measures would be integrated.
‘‘I’m keen to get a more detailed account of what features are built in,’’ she said.
Ms Sheed is expecting an answer from the Attorney-General’s department in the near future.