Page 1292 - Week 04 - Thursday, 5 May 2022

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regarding variation 369, known as the living infrastructure variation. I would like to sincerely thank Minister Gentleman and the directorate for all of the work that they have done to get the variation finalised. I know it has been a lot of hard work to pull together a variation that is significant in the changes that it makes, is technical in its detail and has generated significant interest from the community and the building and development industry.

As I said this is a significant variation. It is world leading and it has not been done in many other jurisdictions before. It is something that we have been working on for a number of years. I would like to recognise the work of Caroline Le Couteur and others in previous assemblies that has preceded this version of the variation. It will not solve all of the issues we have identified in relation to supporting living infrastructure in our city, but it is a huge step forward.

This variation aims to give life to the community’s strong desire to ensure that the homes we have on blocks are complemented by green infrastructure, including private open space, deep planting areas, permeable surfaces and trees. This is important now, and we know that it will be even more important as we experience the climate changing more, and the drier and warmer conditions that will impact on residents inside homes, as well as those moving through our neighbourhoods.

As Minister Gentleman notes, this will require culture change in thinking about how we design our homes, what we need both inside these homes and around them, and how we value the range of things on our suburban blocks beyond the bricks and mortar of the structures that shelter and nurture us.

We recognise that change can be challenging, and thank the industry for working with us to implement these changes. It is a significant change and we did make commitments to address transitional issues. The agreed approach will particularly address the issues for families who have purchased homes that have not yet completed building their homes.

As Minister Gentleman notes, there will be more work to be done through the review of the Territory Plan, particularly through the revision of the estate development code. This is a vital piece of work, as we ensure that all parts of our city are protected from the heat island effect and that we are able to live in homes and suburbs that are designed to keep us safe and support the wildlife that shares our city with us.

I look forward to active engagement on this issue, and I also look forward to the work of the planning, transport and city services standing committee as they review the implementation of the variation in the coming year.

As previously noted, this variation is only one of the tools that we are working to introduce to protect our living infrastructure and build our tree canopy. I am excited to be working to finalise the mature native trees action plans and warmly welcome the urban forest bill that will provide significantly more protection for our city’s trees. I encourage members of the public to provide their views on these pieces of work as well as the planning review that is currently out for community consultation.

Debate (on motion by Ms Lawder) adjourned to the next sitting.

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