Page 3338 - Week 10 - Wednesday, 19 October 2022

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Greenfield land needs careful consultation with the community about what they want in their local area. That is not a good conversation to have on the fly, in the chamber, without a lot of policy work behind it. Greenfield land needs careful thought about how it fits in with our planning and transport system. This is really important. We do not want to keep building distant suburbs that can only be serviced by cars. That does not lead to a good lifestyle for anybody living there. It leads to an extremely expensive lifestyle. It is costly in petrol and diesel, and in buying cars. It is costly on the environment; it is costly on the climate. It is not a good way to do it. We need public and active transport connections, and that gets increasingly harder the further out we build.

You have heard me talking about all of these points many times. I understand Mr Cain’s weariness. I am also feeling slightly weary about having the same conversation over and over again. I would love to see something new, a new solution, and some careful policy work behind it. I think that would be really good. I am really keen to see the government response to the recommendations. I think it is good that we are highlighting those recommendations. The Greens will be supporting Minister Berry’s amendment. We are looking forward to further work when we get that government response and when we have had the policy work done on that.

MR COCKS (Murrumbidgee) (3.59): I rise today to speak in support of the original motion brought on by Ms Lee and Mr Parton. At the heart of this motion is housing affordability. Any member here today who goes out and speaks with Canberrans, and actually listens to them, will hear time and again about housing affordability. It is not a new concern. I have been having those conversations with people in Canberra’s south for nearly a decade.

I have heard from so many people who desperately want the security of owning their own home—people who share the Australian dream of home ownership but feel locked out of the Canberra property market. I have heard from first home buyers looking to find their first home. I have heard from parents and grandparents hoping to see their grandchildren be able to afford a home and get that leg-up that home ownership can bring. I have heard from parents of adult children who hope that their kids can find a home so that at some stage they might get some well-deserved space for themselves.

It seems light-hearted, but this stuff genuinely matters. What gets to me most is when I hear from people who have, time and again, put their names down for government land ballots and who are willing to live in any of Canberra’s new greenfield sites—people hoping to win the housing lottery and get a start for their families, people who, time and again, have been disappointed because the odds are so stacked against them.

It is a lottery, with thousands of people applying for so few blocks. Just imagine how it feels to turn up, time and again, to try again and again, in Whitlam, in Harrison, in Bonner or in Wright. Imagine how it feels to turn up repeatedly, to have done the right thing and then to miss out, time and again—all while you are watching prices go up and up; all the time wondering whether you will ever get there and too often doubting that you will.

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