Page 1328 - Week 04 - Thursday, 5 May 2022

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environmental destruction. Despite the fact that providing real services and amenities to anyone wanting to buy into the area is a false promise, they persist with this tired and discredited proposition. Are we finally seeing their true colours? They do not look teal. Despite a new-found interest in the environment and climate change, this really feels like there is environmental fraud going on.

MS LAWDER (Brindabella) (5.21): I rise today to speak in support of Ms Lee’s motion. As many in this chamber would know, we have had numerous discussions and debates on this topic in the past about where the Tuggeranong town centre is located, relative to suburbs around it, and the decision to build or not to build between the town centre and the river and over the other side of the river.

As a local member for Brindabella, I know that Tuggeranong residents have strong views on this topic. It is no secret that the ACT government has been sitting on land around the west Tuggeranong area for some years that could be used for residential purposes, not just between South.Point and the river—or the Hyperdome, as I will always think of it—but on the other side of the river as well.

I know that for many of us, myself included, environmental concerns have been raised over and over again, importantly, regarding potential development in west Tuggeranong. These concerns relate largely to the health of the Murrumbidgee River and maintaining the Murrumbidgee River corridor, the impact on biodiversity in the area, ensuring connectivity and ensuring that any flora and fauna is protected. A feasibility study would enable these concerns to be looked at.

As shadow minister for the environment, heritage and water, I recognise and share these environmental concerns. I am grateful that we live in a city where we can enjoy green spaces, where we can enjoy nature and easily access it, not far from where we live. However, I am of the firm belief that respecting environmental concerns and progressing future development are not mutually exclusive ideas. We need only look at places such as Ginninderry, which has already provided 6,500 homes to the ACT while priding itself on showcasing world’s best practice in nature conservation and urban design. It is an exemplar, both nationally and internationally.

I see no reason why, given the right investment and resources, west Tuggeranong cannot also create a community that is sustainable, that values conservation and long-term livability equally. After all, our planning laws, our water sensitive urban design and all that we do in this place are meant to ensure sustainable building and development. They are meant to protect our environment. Is the concern raised about development in this area an acknowledgement or an admission that these laws do not work? Interesting.

I believe that protecting the river corridor is vital, but why can we not commit to a feasibility study into this proposal today? It is not as though those on the other side have never suggested this themselves. This is not a commitment to build. This is simply a study to look at all the relevant input.

In 2016, when we last debated in this place the proposed new suburb of Thompson, there were many concerns raised about the future and longevity of existing

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