Page 952 - Week 03 - Thursday, 7 April 2022

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that is to deliver a compact and efficient city. This will also help our climate emissions.

As we have been discussing for the last couple of days and for a few sittings now, we need good public transport to support our community. The government is committed to make 70 per cent of new housing development infill. The ACT Greens have a policy that 80 per cent should be infill, because we value our environment and our bush capital.

Canberra has and continues to expand. We have a number of suburbs in the pipeline that are waiting to be built, including Macnamara, Kenny and various Molonglo Valley suburbs. For a variety of reasons, we cannot click our fingers and build houses quickly to meet need; we need to recognise that the need exists and do what we can. There are shortages of building materials. There are labour shortages. We are living through a pandemic. We are working through a planning system and that will take time and effort. We have a mix of housing choices in the pipeline, but it is complicated and it takes time. There is an obvious benefit for the environment, as well as for the community, if we limit our urban sprawl.

We were talking about the impacts cats have on our native wildlife only yesterday. Everybody in here was in furious agreement about how important it is to protect our native wildlife from cats and to make sure that we protect our wildlife as we are moving through an extinction crisis. Actually, the biggest impact on our native species is development on their habitat; it is actually urban sprawl. We need to limit that.

I have been unpleasantly surprised in the last few weeks by some random reports in the media and some reactive comments about developing areas like west Tuggeranong and CSIRO Ginninderra. I do not think I have yet seen the detailed analysis of the complexities of planning our city, and the complexities of developing those areas, and the real and present issues in continuing urban sprawl, and the impacts of developing such areas. We need to think hard about that and make sure that we have done all the right assessments.

The role of the new planning act is really important in protecting our green spaces and identifying the right locations for future density and where our houses should go. We have got that planning review underway; we do not want to rush ahead and skip to the end. We need a planning system that considers and protects our environmental values. It is critically important. We need a planning system that recognises the climate change we are experiencing and the climate change that will continue.

We need to protect our environment, because a healthy environment is critical to our own health. We have all stood up and talked about that only this morning. We need to take active, protective steps for our environment; and we need to do that by making sure that, through our environmental protections and our planning act, our future development for Canberra is done in a conscious and conscientious way.

I look forward to hearing more from the community about how we should develop, and I look forward to getting more community input into the planning review. It is

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