Page 1982 - Week 06 - Thursday, 9 June 2022

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We need to make sure that we are following good planning, following and protecting environmental and Indigenous cultural values and consulting with our community. We need to do all of these things in a really careful and considered manner. Our future developments have to be climate resilient. They need to be built in a way that makes a city that is sustainable, liveable and pleasant to use. For all of these reasons, the Greens will support Minister Berry’s amendment to the motion.

MR CAIN (Ginninderra) (4.13): I just want to point out a couple of differences between these two motions, one from the Canberra Liberals leader and one from Ms Berry, and perhaps make some suggestions for Ms Berry in processing what looks to be a supported motion. I draw members’ attention to Ms Lee’s motion, because she calls for not only housing but also the type of housing—that is, low and medium-density housing. I must admit I got a shock when I heard Minister Berry refer to respecting the housing choices of Canberrans, because that is not something I have picked up prior to today.

As all members are aware, the government, in a previous term, instituted a survey, called the Winton survey, of Canberrans’ housing choices. Ms Berry just rolled her eyes. I am not quite sure if it is because she hopes this thing will disappear somewhere. This survey—and the final report was issued in May 2015—indicated a very strong preference for Canberrans’ housing choices: over 90 per cent for detached housing or medium-density alternatives, such as dual occupancies, townhouses and terraces. I note that in her amendment Ms Berry does not talk about the plan for this land, other than housing types that will be derived from consultation with the community.

Earlier this year the Leader of the Canberra Liberals called for a fresh Winton-type survey to do exactly what one could say the minister is calling on in paragraph (3) of her own amendment. What a thought: how about we consult with the community? It has been done before. You have a model on how to do it. Is that the plan? Are you going to have a fresh survey, particularly in our common electorate of Ginninderra? At least ask your own electorate, “What sort of housing would you like on the CSIRO site?”

The Leader of the Opposition has made some suggestions as to that, because that is what Canberrans have indicated they prefer. If the consultation that is mooted in this amendment mirrors the consultation we have seen in relation to changes to the planning act, I think we know what that is going to mean. The minister just needs to go and consult with the community council heads to further confirm their opinion of what that consultation really was. It was a tick-box exercise.

Minister, before you call on the commonwealth government to give you this land, you might consider telling them what you actually plan to do with it. You might even consult with the community before you lobby the commonwealth for this gift. You might be surprised by what the community says. Frankly, I would not be, but I suspect it does not align with what your plans actually are. So how about you make that commitment? Consult with the community, let us know what your plan is for this very valuable site in Ginninderra and then tell the commonwealth, “We’d like you to give us this land, and here is what we’re going to do with it.” Perhaps you should do that instead.

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