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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2014 Week 9 Hansard (16 September) . .

Page.. 2698..

It is this potential that trade represents for our region that drives the government to do what we can to assist our business community's international activities. Next month we will be back in Singapore and Japan to further promote trade and investment outcomes. Directorate staff are working on a focused program of future market visits designed to deliver on that trade potential well into the future. Of course, we will advise the Assembly of the outcomes of those missions once they are concluded.

Transport—light rail

Ministerial statement

MR CORBELL (Molonglo—Attorney-General, Minister for Police and Emergency Services, Minister for the Environment and Minister for Capital Metro), by leave: Today I will be making a statement as Minister for Capital Metro. The Capital Metro Agency is planning, designing and delivering one of the most significant urban transformation initiatives ever undertaken by this government, or indeed arguably by any ACT government. Canberra is a growing and vibrant city. It is the government's responsibility to sustainably accommodate and plan for that growth, whilst nurturing the city's identity and creating opportunities for its residents.

We know that, after its first century, Canberra is emerging as a confident and bold city. We are not afraid to do the right thing, even when others work against us. We are a city of big thinkers with big ideas. We are not small minded, nor are we short-sighted. Canberrans have five universities represented here and many leading research institutions. Some of the world's leading academics and experts choose to base themselves in our city. We are proud to be a city where ideas flourish and debate can take place. We look for the right solutions, not just the easy ones. We are a government that listens to scientific evidence. We are a government that consults, plans and identifies the best path ahead. And, importantly, we are a government that is getting on with the job.

We know that we need to change. Populations are increasing. The climate is changing and many of the resources we rely on are finite. We have the common sense to know that the city we live in now is simply not sustainable. As the most progressive city in the nation, we are tackling the big issues while others suffer from indecision and delay. Canberra is already well on its way to achieving 90 per cent renewable energy by 2020 and carbon neutrality by 2060. The ACT's first and the country's largest operational solar farm to date joined the grid earlier this month, producing enough energy to power 4,500 Canberra homes. Plans for a second solar project are already well underway.

But there are big challenges to overcome before we become a truly sustainable city. Between now and 2050, Canberra will need to accommodate another 200,000 residents, increasing the city's population to over 600,000. Motor vehicles are responsible for over 20 per cent of the territory's greenhouse gas emissions, well above the national average of 14 per cent, reflecting one of the highest car dependency rates of any centre in the country. In car dependent cities, it does not take much thinking to understand that, with an increasing population, more cars results in even more congestion.

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