Page 1330 - Week 04 - Thursday, 5 May 2022
while also delivering homes with backyards, accessible green spaces and surrounding nature for residents to enjoy, which is what we all want. We love that access to the nature spaces close to us.
It seems to me that, under this government, in the past five, 10 or 20 years, we have seen the loss of mature native trees. Suddenly they matter. Suddenly it is as if this particular area of the ACT is the only one that is going to take away all the trees in the ACT. The environment minister has recently listed saving mature trees as the first step in the draft action plan on mature trees. Are we saying that this action plan is useless or pointless, that we cannot develop because we might lose trees? But we have plans as to how to save the trees.
We hear the Chief Minister talking about us running out of land, but the 2012 taxation review, known as the Quinlan review, said that there were about 70 years of land left. Mr Barr said that this is actually land that is easily developed, without the need to build infrastructure like bridges or large-scale earthworks. Basically, he wants to charge you a fortune for the land but not actually put a lot of money into developing the area for you. It is gouging people who want to buy a house. I commend Ms Lee’s motion to the Assembly.
MR DAVIS (Brindabella) (5.32): I rise in support of Minister Gentleman’s amendments to Ms Lee’s motion. I would first of all like to thank my colleagues Minister Vassarotti and Ms Clay for their contributions to the debate. To anyone who has tuned in just to listen to me—I cannot imagine there would be many of those, Madam Speaker—I encourage them to go back and listen to the presentations by Minister Vassarotti and Ms Clay, who, unlike some of us in this place, have chosen to articulate a more fulsome picture of the housing and rental affordability crisis and of land supply and potential environmental impacts in the ACT.
In the 2020 election the conservative Coe Liberals ran on a platform of a million trees. They lost that election, and now, to punish the Canberra community, the conservative Lee Liberals want to bulldoze a million trees. This Canberra Liberals opposition will not be satisfied until every square inch of the bush capital is cul-de-sacs, crescents and rolling urban sprawl suburbia.
Ms Lee: What have you been smoking? Like, seriously. Far out.
MR DAVIS: Madam Speaker, I would ask Ms Lee to withdraw.
MADAM SPEAKER: Yes. Ms Lee, that was somewhat inappropriate and had a certain connotation, so can you withdraw, please?
Ms Lee: I withdraw.
MR DAVIS: Thank you very much. Madam Speaker, you do not need to take my word for it. You can actually trust the Canberra Liberals and their own reflections on their 2020 result, when they ran an election campaign where a million trees was a flagship policy statement. As all political parties do, they reflected on their results after the election. Certainly, the 2020 result needed some very deep introspection