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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2016 Week 6 Hansard (9 June) . .

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It is terrific to recognise the connections between Wellington and Canberra. Both are national capitals. Neither has previously been the most well known of its country's cities. Both have been regarded in the past as somewhat dreary by their racier, bigger cities. But both have proved those bigger cities wrong. Wellington and Canberra are thriving, smart, cultural, creative and innovative cities. They are both shedding their alleged dreariness and surprising domestic and international visitors, with numbers flocking to both cities to live, travel and work. Livability is high in both cities.

Another thing that is very high, in Wellington in particular, is the hills. Wellingtonians are very proud of this. They are even proud of its legendary bad weather. "Windy Wellington" was the only thing often known about Wellington when I was growing up as a child. It was known as the seat of parliament and for the windiness. In Wellington in particular there is a self-deprecating awareness about Wellington's windiness. They celebrate it in their public art. One of the more obvious things to do if you are a windy city is to install wind turbines. Wellington was the first city in New Zealand to install a wind turbine, in the very hilly suburb of Brooklyn, where my mum grew up. It was installed over 20 years ago. If you have ever been there or if you ever go, you will understand absolutely why they have wind turbines at the top of Brooklyn. This shows the unique ability of New Zealand and Wellington to make the most of what others consider disadvantages, to celebrate them and to embrace their ironies. It is a slightly more relaxed approach to civic life; I hope one we can learn something from.

I am very pleased about the connections we have: sporting connections, cultural connections. Mr Rattenbury mentioned the connection with Zealandia. Zealandia is adjacent to the suburb I grew up in in Wellington, Karori. I now live adjacent to the suburb that Mulligans Flat is located in. So the particular connections between the Woodlands and Wetlands Trust and Zealandia also hold special significance.

Our sister city relationships bring unique benefits. This one is no different. I am very pleased that the Chief Minister has brought this forward today; I think it is absolutely, positively a great thing to do.

MR BARR (Molonglo—Chief Minister, Treasurer, Minister for Economic Development, Minister for Tourism and Events and Minister for Urban Renewal) (10.44), in reply: To conclude the debate, let me thank all members for their support of this resolution today. I will take the very warm wishes of the Legislative Assembly to Wellington next month when we confirm their sister city relationship.

I must, though, respond to Mr Rattenbury's point in relation to air travel. Undoubtedly a direct connection between Canberra and Wellington is a much more efficient way to get there than the current arrangements, so there will be considerably fewer carbon emissions as a result of a direct service. That is a very positive thing. And I note that you can offset your carbon emissions and that the airline industry is getting more efficient. That is a good thing as well. Having said that, I again thank members for their support. We look forward to formalising the sister city relationship in Wellington next month.

Question resolved in the affirmative.


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