Page 3575 - Week 11 - Tuesday, 22 November 2022

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The government’s own website notes that Canary pines are not suitable as street trees. These plantings, the petitioners argue, are also contrary to the government’s current push for more solar capture and less energy use. The overshadowing from the trees, when they mature, will negate the effectiveness of solar panels on the roofs of these apartments, as they will be of similar height. The expectation of up to eight hours of sunshine and light will be reduced to only a few hours per day. It is of great concern to the almost 600 petitioners that have implored the relevant ministers, as well as local members, to look at this issue. I commend the petition to the Assembly.

Building—proposed developer licensing scheme—petition 29-22

MR PETTERSSON (Yerrabi) (10.09): I rise today to thank Mr Zach Smith, CFMEU ACT and the wider Canberra community for their hard work in bringing this petition forward. They have done an amazing job in collecting over 1,100 signatures in support of a property developer licensing scheme.

In the ACT, property developers wield significant power over the community. They hold a trusted position in designing and constructing our built environment—the apartments and houses that we call home, the small and large businesses that we shop in and the public spaces that we enjoy. In exchange, they reap the profits for themselves and their financiers, but they answer to no-one. There are no rules about who can and cannot be a property developer. If they do not have the financial capacity to complete the projects or have a history of failing to meet their obligations, it does not matter. Even if they have been publicly exposed for rorting consumers, creating shoddy builds or leaving huge debts, they can get off completely scot-free. New customers can be engaged again and again. Damage can be done again and again.

The success of this petition demonstrates that the community wants decisive action to be taken on this issue. We know that 77 per cent of Canberrans agree that property developers have too much power, and 77 per cent want the ACT government to introduce a new licensing scheme.

The consensus is clear. The great power that we bestow upon property developers should be honoured by them taking great responsibility. Right now, they do not care. All they care about is lining their pockets. In 2019 the ACT government announced that it was committed to implementing a property developer licensing scheme by the end of 2022. Given the community’s strong support for this matter, now is the time for the ACT government to fulfil its promise. Canberra has waited for too long. Once again I thank the petitioners for bringing forward this great petition.

MR PARTON (Brindabella) (10.11): Madam Speaker, I need to respond to this petition from Mr Pettersson; more, I need to respond to the media rhetoric from Mr Pettersson in the last 24 hours, which I note was somewhat toned down on ABC radio this morning, and here in the chamber. When a government backbencher comes out and gives a whack to a government minister and declares that he will write his own bill, so as to do that minister’s job properly, I do not know whether it is just me or whether anyone else can detect the smell of dysfunction in the air. I am not sure that this is really how it works.

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