Page 159 - Week 01 - Wednesday, 9 February 2022

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MR PETTERSSON: Minister, how will the planning review help grow jobs for Canberrans?

MR GENTLEMAN: The planning system review and reform project will deliver a planning system that facilitates a strong economy in the territory, attracting and creating jobs and investment. The reform of the planning system will encourage investment in the territory by setting a clear strategic planning direction that identifies and supports opportunities for investment, reducing the complexity of legislative processes and providing flexible assessment pathways and design guidance for planning outcomes. Land use planning can do much to continue the growth and diversification of the ACT economy. The ACT planning strategy establishes strategies and actions to plan for the continued growth and diversification of the ACT population and economy. Through the reformed planning system, with the new Planning Act, the new Territory Plan and district level planning, we can position ourselves to take the opportunities to grown and diversify our economy. The reformed system will encourage the right type of investment by being clear on the types of outcomes we want to see achieved across the city. The planning provisions in the new system will enable this investment, rather than impose barriers.

DR PATERSON: Minister, will you rule out developing west Murrumbidgee, and why is it important to listen to expert advice?

MR GENTLEMAN: The ACT government has already ruled out development in west Murrumbidgee. This is nothing new. There is nothing secret at all; we have made that very clear. I have often encouraged people in this place to go and read the ACT planning strategy. Development in west Murrumbidgee is explicitly ruled out in the ACT planning strategy, which was released in 2018 and is available on the EPSDD website.

We heard very strongly from my local community in Tuggeranong about their opposition to development in west Murrumbidgee. You would remember, Madam Speaker, that experts backed up that view. Not only does west Murrumbidgee have significant environmental values; it is also a poor development location for infrastructure, transport and planning reasons.

The government is developing a planning system with people at its centre. That supports the government’s vision for a livable and sustainable city. We are moving towards net zero emissions in the city as well. We are listening to the experts, and it is time that the Canberra Liberals did the same. We know that they won’t, because Zed remains their leader—

Mr Hanson: Does he? I don’t think he’s in this chamber.

MR GENTLEMAN: Yes, he does—in all but name. The Canberra Liberals continue with the same old, tired Zed policies, like developing in west Murrumbidgee.

Unlike the Canberra Liberals, we are committed to greenfields sites for Canberra’s growing population where development is sustainable. Our investigations into the

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