Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 05 Hansard (Wednesday, 5 May 2010) . . Page.. 1747 ..
have the University of Canberra. We have ADFA. We have the Catholic University. I cannot off the top of my head go through all our tertiary institutions, because we have a lot of very good ones. This is a strength which we should be building on, because they will, hopefully, be there when we have sold all the land.
As Ms Porter’s motion suggested, in yesterday’s budget Mr Stanhope announced that 17,000 dwelling sites would be released over the next four years, while 444,561 square metres of commercial land and 440,616 square metres of industrial land will also be released over the same period. This land release will be supported by a huge capital works program to deliver new roads, new intersection upgrades, water, infrastructure et cetera. It has a double benefit for the ACT’s economy because, as well as supporting housing, it supports the allied construction trades, which are a very important part of the ACT’s economy.
What is quite frustrating for the Greens in this is how little sustainability has been prioritised in planning for this infrastructure. The Greens are going to continue to push for infrastructure to allow new residents to live more affordably and more sustainably. That is a large part of our push in Molonglo, for a more sustainable Molonglo. We see Molonglo as being more sustainable and more affordable, both for the people who live there and for the ACT government. I will talk more about that in a minute.
As I mentioned, one of the things we are concerned about is that the income the ACT government gets from land sales is distorting our land release program. We think it is really important that the ACT should get the financial balance right between greenfields and infills. It is partly about financial balance with the ACT government’s budget. I note in this context that the change of use charge is expected to be considerably higher than it was. But going to the financial balance in the long term, we need to look at the long-term costs and benefits of infill and redevelopment as well as the long-term costs and benefits of greenfields.
I am concerned that the government is understating the costs of greenfield development. For that reason, and also because it gets considerable income from it, we are not seeing much urban infill in the ACT. From this budget, it appears that there are going to be only 700 sites identified for urban infill next year and only 1,000 expected to be developed over the next four years. I note that that would only be the land that the ACT government currently owns; presumably there will be infill brought on stream from land which is currently owned by private owners, but nonetheless we need to shift.
The government’s own plan, its own target, is that there should be 50 per cent greenfield and 50 per cent infill development. At this stage we are going nowhere close to that. I am concerned—the Greens are concerned—that this is not sustainable. This is not the way that the ACT should be developed, and financial imperatives are one of the reasons why development is as it is.
We think that it is time for the government to shift the income model for the ACT government. It is simply unsustainable, environmentally and land-resource-wise, that we continue to release land on the outskirts of town in places where it is difficult to