Page 141 - Week 01 - Wednesday, 9 February 2022

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sectors who need it most? Will it create jobs in areas that tackle our big problems, like the environment, health and education? Will it help women and sectors dominated by women? How will it reduce emissions and help us adapt to the climate change disasters that we are regularly experiencing? I can break all of this down to one question: what do our children think of the choices we are making? I really look forward to ongoing discussions about the next budget with the community and with government.

MR GENTLEMAN (Brindabella—Manager of Government Business, Minister for Corrections, Minister for Industrial Relations and Workplace Safety, Minister for Planning and Land Management and Minister for Police and Emergency Services) (11.00): The Chief Minister yesterday outlined the priorities ahead for the government—managing the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic while continuing to deliver, along with helping our economy and Canberrans to recover. The last few years have been the most challenging time for our city. It has been difficult for everyone, but it has shown the nation that our city is a community united in supporting each other.

I thank all Canberrans for their efforts in working with our public servants to keep our city safe and continuing to look after each other. We could not have navigated the past few years without our public service. They are the best in the country and our success in tackling the bushfires and COVID-19 is a testament to them. I extend my thanks to all our officials, from those working in directorates to those on the front lines. Each of you has been integral to our success and is crucial for our recovery.

I am privileged to be able to work with many of our front line staff, be it our police, paramedics, firefighters, park rangers, correction officers, WorkSafe officers, planners and ecologists, and volunteers as well. I acknowledge staff across my portfolios, staff in the Chief Minister, Treasury and Economic Development Directorate; the Justice and Community Safety Directorate; the Environment, Planning and Sustainable Development Directorate; the Emergency Services Agency; ACT Corrective Services; WorkSafe ACT; and ACT Policing.

Staff across these agencies are also crucial for our economic recovery. If there is a lesson the pandemic has taught us, it is that we need safe and secure jobs. To achieve this, we need to continue to sustainability grow our city while increasing efforts to protect workers. Improving our planning system is a critical reform I intend to deliver this year.

Over the past few years, the Environment, Planning and Sustainable Development Directorate has supported the government’s pandemic response and has also worked with me to progress the ACT planning system review and reform project. Over the past two years, we have worked to understand what changes could create a better planning system for Canberra. This has involved benchmarking our planning system against other systems around the world, consulting with the community, and technical work to explore options for an improved system for the ACT.

Canberra is growing each year, and the ACT government is carefully planning for this growth and the economic opportunities which come with it. A modern planning

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