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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 06 Hansard (Thursday, 3 June 2021) . . Page.. 1734 ..

The vision of Canberra as a “city in the landscape” remains in the ACT Planning Strategy that guides the future urban growth of Canberra and reflects the importance that we place on the protection of our natural environment. The strategy’s vision is for Canberra to be a sustainable, competitive and equitable city that respects Canberra as a city in the landscape and the national capital, while being responsive to the future and resilient to change.

The strategy recognises the importance of protecting the many defining characteristics of our city that we value so much, such as our green space, diversity of landscape, lifestyle choices and the bushland setting, while supporting infill and intensification in selected locations to achieve a more sustainable and livable city.

The planning strategy also focuses on environmental and open space strategic directions and actions to protect biodiversity and enhance habitat connectivity to improve landscape resilience and to deliver recreation, open space—green space, if you like—and public spaces that support social interaction, physical and mental health and engagement in public life.

The ACT has a range of strategies that aim to improve the health of the natural environment and protect threatened ecosystems. These include the Nature Conservation Strategy, Native Grassland Conservation Strategy, Native Woodland Conservation Strategy and Aquatic and Riparian Conservation Strategy; and there are many action plans for threatened plant and animal species. All these strategies include actions to further the objectives and implement the strategies.

Canberra’s living infrastructure plan provides strategic direction to improve the ACT’s climate change resilience and combat urban heat gain through living infrastructure. This plan recognises that we also need to be proactive in sustaining the ACT’s existing natural assets. The plan sets out the target that by 2045 Canberra’s urban footprint will have the equivalent benefit of a 30 per cent tree canopy cover and 30 per cent permeable surfaces.

The Climate Change Strategy 2019-25 brings together emission reductions, resilience and adaptation measures as part of a holistic response to climate change.

Clean water is a key component of a resilient environment and healthy community. The ACT has a number of strategies and plans to protect this valuable resource. The ACT Water Strategy addresses new challenges for water resource management, including deteriorating water quality resulting from urban development, maintaining ageing stormwater infrastructure, and the need for enhanced stewardship of water resources and catchments.

The Urban Forest Strategy 2021-45 sets out the government’s vision for a resilient and sustainable urban forest that supports a livable city and the natural environment and contributes to the wellbeing of the community in a changing climate.

Collectively, these plans and strategies provide a clear direction for improving the quality and resilience of our environment for the wellbeing of the whole community,

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