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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 03 Hansard (Wednesday, 18 March 2015) . . Page.. 864 ..


where everybody can take advantage of its network of centres, open spaces and modes of travel—a city where everyone enjoys a sense of wellbeing, a sense of identity through connections to the community and to the past through our heritage, and can participate in a vibrant civic and cultural life.

Public transport and active travel—walking and cycling, as we have talked about—are essential for building inclusive and accessible communities. There is a growing international recognition that public transport and active travel are key features of the world’s best cities and urban environments. Canberra’s car use climbed significantly in the latter part of the 20th century. When many people drive, whether by choice or lack of options, our roads become congested. This also leads to a greater incidence of transport disadvantage, greenhouse gas emissions, air and noise pollution and sedentary lifestyle diseases like heart disease and diabetes. These projects are good for our city, I believe.

In conclusion, good urban planning contributes to a range of policies and actions that the government is undertaking to support and facilitate building the communities that we aspire to for our city and its citizens.

MS BURCH (Brindabella—Minister for Education and Training, Minister for Police and Emergency Services, Minister for Disability, Minister for Racing and Gaming and Minister for the Arts) (5.13): I thank Dr Bourke for moving this motion today on the important matter of social inclusion. Ensuring that every member in our community is included and able to fully participate in their community is, I think, the very reason that all of us, at least on this side, have decided to seek election to this place. It is certainly why I am standing here today. Since being here in the Assembly, I have been privileged to join with many in the community on projects and programs to give every Canberran the chance to pursue their goals and to live the life that they want to live.

Indeed, as education minister and Minister for Disability, I have responsibility for some key areas linked to social inclusion and equity. Yesterday I spoke about the government’s development of the ACT disability inclusion statement and how we will ensure that all people with a disability can participate in our community. The national disability insurance scheme is a key reform that will enable people with a disability to achieve a better life and to have a greater participation in social and economic participation. The NDIS is about improving social inclusion for people with a disability.

It is about a person’s overall health and wellbeing and helping them to achieve greater participation in a more inclusive society. The NDIS is about the benefits of greater community engagement with people with a disability. Indeed, if we want to see an example of social inclusion on display, look no further than the Connect and Participate Expo that is scheduled for the 28th of this month. It is a fantastic event that will showcase the range of opportunities for Canberrans of all abilities and ages to join groups and to build social connections around common interests.

The expo was a huge success last year. It is initiatives such as this that show that Canberra is an inclusive community. The ACT government signed on to the NDIS because we knew that our support systems could be better. We knew that we could do


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