Page 3251 - Week 10 - Tuesday, 18 October 2022

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we can continue to provide the best possible advice to the community through what is a large and complex project. The ACT community should be proud that we are leading the nation on climate action. As we have seen across Australia, people want and expect government at all levels to take proactive action. Whilst it can be complex and detailed, I think the best thing that we can do for our community is to take the decisions early, manage the transitions thoughtfully and make sure that we do it in a way that best informs the community as we go.

Let me finally touch briefly on the office for water. I was pleased to hear Ms Lawder speak about it. I think it is a terrific initiative in the budget. It is something that, of course, was in the parliamentary agreement. This budget commits $1.58 million of additional funds over the next two years to resource the dedicated office for water to coordinate and lead water policy development and holistic water management.

The Commissioner for the Sustainability and the Environment’s recent investigation into the state of the lakes and waterways in the ACT demonstrates the importance of lakes and waterways for community wellbeing and the significant challenges in managing these within an urbanised landscape. The commissioner’s report identifies areas for improvement and affirms the need for ongoing investment to ensure that our lakes and waterways continue to enrich our community.

A centralised approach to addressing water-related issues is required to respond to emerging challenges such as urban development pressures and climate change. I believe that the office for water is a crucial evolution in the adaptive management of Canberra’s environment. The office will strengthen water management arrangements, enhance the protection of our catchments and enable Canberra to become a more water secure city. The new initiatives to be developed by the office will improve public access to water information, build the ACT’s resilience to cope with the projected impacts from climate change and support a growing population, and advance the water interests of our traditional custodians.

With those few remarks today, I am very pleased to speak in support of this component of this year’s budget. I think it delivers a range of important developments in improving environmental protection in the ACT and doing our part in the global challenge of tackling climate change.

Proposed expenditure agreed to.

Housing ACT—Part 1.12.

MR PARTON (Brindabella) (5.07): Housing and homelessness is no easy task. It is a very complex area. As shadow minister, I actually consider it to be an extraordinary privilege and an extraordinary duty. I know that both the ministers here will know exactly what I am talking about and where this is coming from. It is an extraordinary privilege to be dealing with constituents, some of whom have problems that are associated with where they live, every day, 24/7, and, in some cases, to be able to bring about some positive outcomes.

At the end of the day, when those constituents get to me, they have got to me because they have not had results from any other avenue. There is a constant flow of

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