Page 1319 - Week 04 - Thursday, 5 May 2022

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cost. The then Standing Committee on Planning and Urban Renewal conducted an inquiry into the 2018 planning strategy during the Ninth Assembly. The Canberra Liberals raised no issues when the removal of West Murrumbidgee from consideration for development was put. There were no recommendations to government through the committee process that we include West Murrumbidgee in future land release. So we are only seeing the opposition raise this issue now that Senator Seselja is under pressure in a federal Senate campaign.

The Leader of the Opposition spent quite a bit of time and energy last year telling our local media that she is not the puppet of Senator Seselja. Well, I find it incredibly hard to believe. Here she is using the Legislative Assembly to pursue one of Senator Seselja’s pet issues. Is development in West Murrumbidgee something that really matters to the opposition, or are they simply doing Senator Seselja’s bidding? It is clear to me that in identifying the area for future development the Canberra Liberals are beholden to the policy agenda of Senator Seselja. Why else would they bring forward a motion like this? It is one of Senator Seselja’s pet projects. Of course, like so many of Zed’s other pet projects, it is the opposite of the wishes of the community that he is meant to represent. Canberrans want their leaders to protect the bush capital.

All week we have seen the Canberra Liberals spouting Zed’s campaign lines in this chamber. They have clearly run out of ideas of their own, and Zed is clearly still in charge of these conservative Canberra Liberals. It seems that this week the ghosts of opposition leaders past are once again haunting Ms Lee and the chamber. This was very clear this morning, when Ms Lee did not know what area her motion related to and did not know where Pine Island was. The Canberra Liberals were all over the place here on land release and housing supply. They point to any undeveloped land and declare the government is holding it back, whether or not the land is owned or controlled by the ACT government, and regardless of any environmental or budgetary considerations.

The ACT government is not just ruling out development in this area out of hand. It might look easy and simple to someone with no experience in government, but we have given careful consideration to Canberra’s land supply needs and careful consideration to our future areas of growth. We have thought about our household types and sizes, and the diversity of households in Canberra. We have thought about the economic and environmental impacts of development in various parts of Canberra. All of these factors say that West Murrumbidgee just does not stack up as our next development area.

MR PARTON (Brindabella) (4.53): I was having coffee with my mate Benny Mack, who I played footy with in Victoria. He was visiting Canberra, and we were having coffee on Anketell Street in Tuggeranong. It was cold, and he was rugged up. He said to me, “What do you call the place where we are right now?” I said, “This is Tuggeranong town centre.” He said to me, “No, it’s not.” I said, “It is, Ben. It is Tuggeranong town centre.” He said, “If it is Tuggeranong town centre, what is all that open space out there?”

I said, “Well, if you go back to the start, when they developed down here, this was always supposed to be the town centre because they were going to build suburbs on

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