Friday, 19 November 2021 13:06

WSROC applauds lighter roofs, BASIX updates

Home with light coloured roof surrounded by dark coloured roofs. Home with light coloured roof surrounded by dark coloured roofs.


Media release, 18 November 2021

The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) has applauded Minister Rob Stokes’ push for cool roofs in new residential development across Sydney, along with a range of other measures to make Western Sydney future ready.

WSROC President, Clr Barry Calvert, said “The role of planning system is to protect the safety of individuals and communities. We have planning rules to reduce fire risk and flood risk. Heat is responsible for more deaths than all other natural hazards combined - it makes sense that we have rules to reduce and protect people from extreme heat.

“WSROC has been advocating for restrictions on dark-coloured roofs for many years. Dark roofs increase heat not just for individual homes, but for everyone in the neighbourhood – increasing energy bills and reducing quality of life outdoors.

“Lighter-coloured roofs attract no additional cost, deliver substantial benefits to household energy bills, and temperatures in suburbs more broadly.

“While councils are working to address heat, around half of new development in Western Sydney bypasses local planning controls. With state and local planning working together, we can make a real difference,” said Clr Calvert.

“Further, we know that light roofs are just the start. To really cool our region, a range of urban design measures are required including increased permeability, water management, vegetation, orientation and airflow are needed.

“WSROC encourages the NSW Government to seriously take on board the work being done by WSROC and Western Sydney councils to improve heat mitigation across the planning system. Councils across NSW have shown strong support for the work happening in Western Sydney,” said Clr Calvert.

“In addition to addressing the urban heat island effect, we know that better protection against extreme heat and heatwaves is needed inside homes. For this reason, we commend the Government’s increase to star rating requirements within the BASIX tool,” said Clr Calvert.

“However, we are concerned that BASIX is still assessing the performance of new homes against past climate data. The proposed changes include the use of updated climate data up to 2015. However, even 2015 data is not a good indicator of our current climate, let alone future changes.

“The homes we build now will be in place for many decades to come and it is only getting hotter. We should be assessing the capacity of new homes to keep residents safe in the climates of 2030 and 2050,” he said.

“This is particularly important if we are to meet the NSW Government’s net zero targets.

“Western Sydney is the city of the future. We need to build the homes of the future there, now. WSROC believes NSW can be a leader in this space,” said Clr Calvert.




Media contact: Kelly Gee, 02 9671 4333, 0425 871 868 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


For further information on planning for urban heat visit

Last modified on Friday, 17 December 2021 15:42

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