Page 555 - Week 02 - Thursday, 24 March 2022

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I move:

That the Assembly take note of the ministerial statement.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Planning—draft variation 369

Ministerial statement

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) (10.26): The ACT government is committed to making our city resilient to our changing climate. Part of this resilience is increasing our urban tree canopy to 30 per cent, and increasing our permeable surfaces to 30 per cent in urban areas. Ensuring that our city remains compact, with new development concentrated in existing areas, is another part of that resilience.

The ACT government prepared a draft territory plan variation, variation 369, as a first step in our planning system to plant more trees on our residential blocks. The variation also increases the proportion of permeable surfaces and open spaces for residential blocks. This is a big change that we are making. We are asking for a culture change from industry and home owners to move away from huge houses, to ensure that households have more yard space.

In the time since the ACT government first proposed these changes, we have seen a significant uptick in the amount of single residential blocks sold by the Suburban Land Agency. More and more Canberrans are buying and building house and land packages.

Given the significant impact that this change will have across the territory, particularly at the affordable end for people who have purchased compact blocks, I have asked officials to consider how industry and home owners can best transition to this new system before finalising and tabling the draft variation. I do not want to disadvantage people who have bought house and land packages in good faith. Similarly, I want to ensure the best possible way to increase our tree cover and permeability.

I recognise the importance of the changes DV369 is making and understand the need to ensure that we are preparing our homes for the impacts of climate change already being faced today and those that will come in the future. I am committed to taking strong and effective climate action. This must be done in a measured, considered way. Sometimes this means taking a little extra time than envisaged to ensure that we can deliver an outcome that strengthens our climate resilience without unintended impacts.

I also acknowledge that many, including my colleagues from the Greens, are disappointed that DV369 has not been tabled this week. This is an issue that goes to the core of some of the reforms that come into this place. I want to reassure them that

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