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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2014 Week 02 Hansard (Tuesday, 18 March 2014) . . Page.. 391 ..

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

MADAM SPEAKER (Mrs Dunne) took the chair at 10 am, made a formal recognition that the Assembly was meeting on the lands of the traditional custodians, and asked members to stand in silence and pray or reflect on their responsibilities to the people of the Australian Capital Territory.

Ministerial delegation to the USA and Singapore—November 2013

Statement by minister

MR BARR (Molonglo—Deputy Chief Minister, Treasurer, Minister for Economic Development, Minister for Sport and Recreation, Minister for Tourism and Events and Minister for Community Services), by leave: I take the opportunity this morning to report to the Assembly on the ministerial and business delegation that I led to the United States and Singapore in November of last year.

I have previously told this place about a long-term vision for Canberra in two decades time, and certainly encouraged members to envisage the city as an exemplar of urban design and amenity. On the basis of the delegation to the US and Singapore, I believe now, more than ever, that the vision I have outlined is very much within Canberra’s grasp.

During the three days that the team and I spent in Portland, we met with representatives of the metro regional government, officials from the Portland Development Commission, the architect of Portland’s light rail system, officials from the Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability, and, importantly, members of the local development industry.

What was clearly evident during all of these meetings was the shared vision that each of these agencies and agents have subscribed to on behalf of their city. The citizens, businesspeople, public servants and elected officials were united in their desire to change the nature of their city and remain united in delivering upon that vision. By any indicator, the Portland of today is a measure of their success. It reminded me a great deal of Canberra—a beautiful city with lovely tree-lined streets, outstanding public art and well-maintained public parks and generous open spaces.

It has a broad range of developments and redevelopments that have been seamlessly integrated with some of the oldest buildings in the city at densities and scale that are appropriate to their location, but that have supported the investment in public infrastructure. It is a city connected by an integrated public transport network where people move seamlessly between buses and light rail, where ticketing is cheap and easily accessible, and where real-time information is the norm rather than the exception.

There is no doubt that Portland is now the poster child for the benefits of integrated city planning and transit-oriented development. Since the 1970s Portland has had an ever-increasing focus on land use planning and a strong regional approach to infrastructure and service planning and delivery that focuses on employment areas, town and regional centres and key transport corridors.

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