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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 04 Hansard (Tuesday, 23 March 2010) . . Page.. 1308 ..


Energy used to heat and cool houses is also clearly a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions. Therefore, as far as possible, we will seek to ensure housing in the Molonglo Valley is well insulated, well designed and well positioned. After extensive research and benchmarking, we are seeking to incorporate solar setbacks into the territory plan codes. ACTPLA is now working on how best to do this. The government has also aimed to maximise solar orientation of the new homes throughout the concept plans for Coombs and Wright.

As I said earlier, for Labor, sustainability covers the environment, the economy and social aspects of development. We intend to make sure Molonglo is child friendly, and we are doing so in practical ways. In May of last year the government established a child-friendly city subcommittee. It includes experts such as the Commissioner for Children and Young People and experts from the Planning and Land Authority, ACT Health, the Department of Disability, Housing and Community Services, the Department of Education and Training and the Chief Minister’s Department. As Minister for Children and Youth last year, I also oversaw a large part of the updating of the ACT’s children’s plan, a document that guides all aspects of the government’s work as it impacts young people. The concept plan will ensure Molonglo adheres to the principles of a child-friendly city promoted by UNICEF.

As I am sure all members would agree, the government is doing a great deal of work to ensure Molonglo, and indeed other parts of Canberra, develops in a socially, economically and environmentally sustainable way. And I again thank Ms Le Couteur for the opportunity to be able to discuss these issues and highlight these achievements in this debate this afternoon.

MR SESELJA (Molonglo—Leader of the Opposition) (5.21): It is not clear to me why the minister insists on taking 15 minutes and then takes only eight of them.

I would like to touch on a few of the things that have been said in the debate so far. We always enjoy it, on this side, when Mr Barr talks about the Labor Party taking the politics out of planning. We always find that exceptionally enjoyable as we reflect on how the Labor Party around the country takes the politics out of planning. We reflect on the Wollongong City Council approach by the Labor Party in taking the politics out of planning. It is an interesting slogan from a party that around the country has been shown to do anything but take the politics out of planning.

There are a number of things I want to touch on here. The first is that excellence in sustainable design in Molonglo Valley is important and there are a number of ways of achieving it. Because Ms Le Couteur spent so much time talking about the opposition rather than her own policy during her speech, I did want to address some of those issues that she raised. She was only four minutes into her speech when she started talking about my and the Canberra Liberals’ position on the Greens’ plan. You would think that, given 15 minutes to discuss a matter of public importance, you might want to talk about your plan; you might want to sell it. There was a fair amount of defensive posturing there.

But I did want to talk about why we have been critical of aspects of what the Greens announced. There are a number of ways you can achieve sustainability. But what we


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