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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 02 Hansard (Thursday, 25 February 2010) . . Page.. 793 ..


thinks Molonglo should be. It was interesting that Mrs Dunne worked so hard to try and shut down my attempt to speak in response to Mr Seselja’s comments. I suspect that is because Mrs Dunne was embarrassed by what she knew her leader was about to say—and so she should have been. The Greens believe, unlike Mr Seselja, that it is possible to do better—that we can build a new town in our city that will be world class, that will be the best possible town development that we can make based on the knowledge we currently have. We also know that we have to do this. It is an imperative. We need to simply do our cities better. We know that many Canberrans fancy that.

The Canberra Times, I think, summed it up quite well last week in a report which stated: “The party unveiled this discussion paper for Molonglo yesterday, saying the suburb’s 30,000 houses should be designed and built to form the world’s most environmentally sustainable community. It calls for a town where all homes have a seven-star energy rating as well as plumbing for sewerage, grey water and drinking water.”

This is the kind of thinking we need for the future—houses that will be cheap to run. We know that, as energy prices go up, Canberrans will face massively increasing power bills unless they have energy efficient houses and grey water. As this climate gets dry, people can still have a garden without necessarily needing potable water to keep it alive. We can have that level of imagination. By contrast, Mr Seselja would like to condemn the families of Molonglo to having to have two cars, not having a choice, and the cost that goes with having two cars. The Greens would like to provide alternatives so that people can just have one—that that is an option for them and they do not need to have two.

The Liberal Party want to condemn people to doing it the old way. They want to condemn people to higher energy bills because they will not put in the up-front investment to get more energy efficient homes. They are not really committed to housing affordability, except for the cheap politics of saying, “The price needs to be lower at the front end.” The Liberal Party want to condemn the residents of Molonglo to a 100-metre wide road corridor right through the middle of their development. That is what John Gorton Drive is going to be—100 metres of wasteland. That is why we are putting forward some different ideas—to try and get a better vision, a more liveable suburb for the people that are going to move to Molonglo.

It was really disappointing to hear Mr Seselja banging on with the same old misinterpretations of costings. He talked about hundreds of millions of dollars for investing in public housing. I presume his preferred policy is to not invest in public housing, to leave those people who need public housing out on their own to fend for themselves, because that is clearly what he seems to be suggesting. I think that is really disappointing. I hope that next time he stands up in here and speaks it will be after he has come to the briefing that we have offered the Liberal Party on our vision for Molonglo, and that after he has taken the time to read the document he will be a little more thoughtful in considering what sort of future we want to offer people in Canberra—the sort of future where we can say to them, “We are going to do suburbs better than we have in the past.”


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