Posted March 15, 2018 12:05:00By David DeitchBamboo houses are everywhere.
From high-rise buildings in New York to small houses on the side of the road in Australia, they’ve been the subject of much debate.
The Australian Government is considering making it illegal to construct bamboo houses.
The proposed law would make it a criminal offence to construct a bamboo dwelling with more than 20 square metres of surface area, a limit that the Government says is not unreasonable.
The Government is proposing to regulate the construction and sale of bamboo houses to reduce the number of new houses built in the country each year.
The government is also proposing to set up a new regulator that would regulate the sale of the bamboo house industry.
The new regulator will be charged with setting up a regulatory framework for the bamboo home industry, which includes the regulation of land, land use, housing and land rights, land supply, the development and management of land and land supply.
In a submission to the Government’s new regulator, the Queensland Government’s Department of Planning and Environment said the regulation would help “reduce the impact on the local environment of residential development and the increase in land values in the region”.
It said there were currently around 40,000 hectares of land with bamboo cultivation on the ABC’s Sunshine Coast.
“It would provide certainty to the local community, to improve land quality, and increase the value of the local land,” said Dr James Dickson, the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources (DAWR).
“It could also be used to improve biodiversity in the area.”
The Government’s proposal to regulate bamboo house construction was tabled in Parliament in May.
Proponents say it would provide a new level of certainty for the growing industry and provide incentives for developers to improve the way they operate.
Critics say the proposal will only lead to more construction and development, particularly in remote areas.
The ABC’s Peter Dutton recently toured one of Australia’s biggest bamboo houses, the Rochdale, a bamboo home built in 2008.
Mr Dutton says he is concerned about the Government proposing to restrict the use of land.
“We’re seeing more and more people who are moving to remote areas, moving into these areas and not being able to access these properties,” he said.
“I think we’re seeing a lack of land management in the remote areas.”
In a report for the Government in September, Dr Dickson said the Queensland government was already working on an alternative regulatory framework, which was designed to ensure the bamboo houses could be used as sustainable dwellings and were not damaging the environment.
“These new regulations would provide more certainty and stability for the industry, as well as the Government,” he wrote.
Mr Deitch, who lives in the Sunshine Coast, says he plans to build a bamboo shed on his property to house his own garden.
“What I do is I get the grass cut and it’s just all green and it goes into the bamboo shed and I use it as a home, a kitchen and a bathroom,” he told the ABC.
“The backyard has been converted into a small greenhouse for my garden.”
He said he would be willing to use his bamboo shed as a temporary home if it wasn’t for the restrictions.
Topics:environment,housing-industry,environmental-policy,bamboo,government-and-politics,environment,environment-management,environmentaustraliaContact Matthew WoottonMore stories from Queensland