Page 3236 - Week 10 - Tuesday, 18 October 2022

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Detail stage

Schedule 1—Appropriations—Proposed expenditure.

Superannuation Provision Account—Part 1.10.

Debate resumed.

Proposed expenditure agreed to.

Environment, Planning and Sustainable Development Directorate—Part 1.11.

MR CAIN (Ginninderra) (4.09): Regarding the planning review, the introduction of the planning bill and the responses from EPSDD in estimates have only confirmed my—and, I believe, the community’s—worst fears that this planning review is a tick-box consultation exercise. It is of concern that the planning review is being led by the Chief Planner and, under the proposed bill, this has resulted in increased codified powers for that role. That is of concern as well. During estimates, the minister said, in response to some of these concerns, that he “cannot think of any decision by the Chief Planner that the Canberra community would disagree with”. This demonstrates outrageous arrogance, blindness, or both.

The Canberra Liberals have been consulting, and will continue to consult, with the community to achieve the right balance for a new planning system for Canberra. This is despite the government making it as difficult as possible for Canberrans to assess their work by releasing the Planning Bill but not the district strategies and Territory Plan at the same time.

It was also of concern to hear that the Western Edge investigation may take 17 years to be completed, despite the ACT drawing even closer to exhausting its greenfield land supply. As the government are still only in the early stages of these investigations, more and more Canberrans will be forced into urban infill as the only viable alternative in the midst of a housing crisis. What happens to housing choice?

This government do not care for housing choices, as shown by their disregard of the Winton report and its rejection of a similar survey to be undertaken—something that the Canberra Liberals leader, Elizabeth Lee, has called for. They seem to be determined to tell Canberrans exactly where and how they should live. It is disappointing on many fronts, Mr Deputy Speaker.

MS CLAY (Ginninderra) (4.11): As the Greens spokesperson for planning and parks and conservation, I am really happy to talk about this section of the budget. I am also speaking from a deep interest in our climate policy.

First of all, we are quite interested in the progress on the western edge. We are excited that our first strategic objective in this budget is to deliver a compact and efficient city. I think everybody here understands that that is the kind of development we need to see in Canberra. It is what organisations like the IPCC are telling us that we need. We all understand that investigations like those that are happening on the western edge are a key part of this.

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