Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2007 Week 13 Hansard (6 December) . . Page.. 4098..
MR BARR (continuing):
some environmental impact of development in Molonglo and north Weston, it is highly likely that that will be considerably less than pursuing development elsewhere in the territory. So we need to look at the relative nature of the impact as well and not simply seek to apply a very strict approach to development in that area so as to set the bar so high that it is impossible to develop in that area.
I take the liberty, though, in the remaining time, to note that, in addition to the land releases that the government is proposing in Gungahlin, I consider it very important, as minister for planning, minister for education and minister for sport and recreation, to provide additional services for the people of Gungahlin which will be providing the lion's share of housing in the ACT. The government will continue to assess and monitor how services in Gungahlin can be improved and to support the young families and others who are moving into this area. We will continue to work to ensure that access to facilities and services such as shops, schools, ovals, public spaces, petrol stations and leisure facilities are available for all Gungahlin residents. That is a commitment, as I say, that I, as planning, education and sport and recreation minister, am very keen to deliver on in those portfolio areas.
In conclusion, from what I have said and the Chief Minister has indicated before me, the government is committed to do the work to release more land as the ACT community needs it and, whether it is in the reforming of the planning system or responding to the needs of the market in relation to land release, the Stanhope government is working hard to maintain the unique nature of our city but also to ensure that Canberra's housing is affordable for all Canberrans.
MR STEFANIAK (Ginninderra—Leader of the Opposition) (4.51): In relation to the minister's last point, there is a lot more work to do in terms of making housing affordable. I have never seen our housing quite so expensive. Mr Barr also mentioned Molonglo. I saw an interesting submission from Pegasus the other day which I think has considerable merit in terms of long-term planning for that area. I commend that to him. It related to riding facilities and having a buffer. That seemed to be a very sensible suggestion and I ask the minister to take it on board.
Whilst Mr Barr has made some effort since taking over the portfolio, one of the big problems with this government has been a lack of planning and a lack of any real land release policy until recently, which means they are now doing catch-up. There is also the fundamental lack of a land bank. Planning is not easy and releasing land is not easy, but previous administrations have actually managed—
MR SPEAKER: The time for this discussion has expired.
Administration and Procedure—Standing Committee
MR SPEAKER: I present the following report:
Administration and Procedure—Standing Committee—Report 2—Review of standing orders and other orders of the Assembly (2 volumes), dated 6 December 2007, together with a copy of the extracts of the relevant minutes of proceedings.