Page 1291 - Week 04 - Thursday, 5 May 2022

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According to the CommSec annual home size report, Australia continues to have some of the largest houses in the world, and the ACT has the largest house sizes in Australia. By introducing this change we are asking for a culture shift in the ACT housing market, particularly for single residential dwellings. This culture shift is part of the changes that all of society will need to make to mitigate the effects of our changing climate.

Because we are asking for such a big change, we will need to ensure that we can have a transition to this new system. I have listened to the feedback on the impact these changes will have, particularly on people who have purchased blocks in new estates in the last couple of years, and who have bought with the expectation that they will be able to get a particular dwelling on their block at the time of buying the land, such as through buying a house and land package.

In response, I have directed the planning and land authority to make changes to the variation so that the proposed provisions do not apply to blocks approved under the estate development plan after 1 January 2020. This will give certainty to those people who have bought land but not yet completed their home build that they will still be able to get the dwelling they envisaged when they bought the land.

I want to reiterate that the ACT government is committed to taking strong and effective climate action, and the new requirements proposed in variation 369 to increase tree canopy cover and permeability will apply to redevelopment in established suburbs when the variation commences. The variation also applies to multi-unit development, meaning that people in apartments, townhouses and retirement villages will have more trees and more planting area in their developments, too. The variation is set to commence on 1 September 2022, which will give builders, designers, architects and home owners a chance to adapt their products to meet the new requirements.

The ACT government will be looking at broader tree planting requirements at the street and suburb level when we review the estate development code as part of the ACT planning system review and reform project. When we have had a chance to amend the estate development code, this will give us the opportunity to extend the tree planting requirements to houses in new estates as well as residential developments in commercial zones. This will happen through the new Territory Plan.

Under section 73 of the Planning and Development Act, I referred the draft variation to the Standing Committee on Planning, Transport and City Services. I thank the committee for its consideration of this variation and for its decision not to conduct an inquiry.

I approved variation 369 as it will contribute to increasing living infrastructure on private residential land in the ACT. I have tabled the variation to the Territory Plan 369.

MS VASSAROTTI (Kurrajong—Minister for the Environment, Minister for Heritage, Minister for Homelessness and Housing Services and Minister for Sustainable Building and Construction) (3.21): I rise today to make a few remarks

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