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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 02 Hansard (Wednesday, 21 February 2018) . . Page.. 455 ..


the highest rate in the country—we may not be able to keep up with demand for services and infrastructure, particularly in the new suburbs, and it may be easier to get drawn into hasty sub-standard developments.

The Greens believe that it is possible to build a city that still maintains the green spaces and trees that gave us the name of the bush capital. As the nation’s capital we certainly should aspire to be something significant for the nation to be proud of. Should we be a treed city, a green city that has all the amenities, sustainable energy systems, recreation, health and mental health benefits and environmental benefits that this allows?

We would also do well to learn from some of the problems that are now besetting Sydney and other big cities: long commutes, ugly developments, lack of public transport, lack of walking and bike routes and lack of access to or even availability of community facilities.

Canberra is clearly a desirable location, which is driving its growth. We need to be careful not to destroy the attractiveness and benefits our city offers. What would maintain us as a desirable location now and into the future? Growth and development are important but we also need to recognise what we have got right so far. The ease and liveability of our city, plus the growing lifestyle opportunities and greater array of businesses, clearly are a huge driver of our growth. But when does that growth become congestion, pollution, long commutes, lack of access to resources and inequality?

Does good development occur in a rush to cash in on growth? Is it driven by developers and economic expansion? Or does good development involve other qualities, for example, civic engagement, the incorporation of values and shared vision? What is the character of our city and what do we love about it? What do we wish to grow and what do we want to improve? What kind of jobs and what kind of growth are we looking for? We do have a choice, and we need to think now about where we are headed.

The motion calls on us to support the diverse growth industries in the ACT. Of course, the Greens absolutely support diversification of our economy. There are many things that we have put forward over the years, including encouraging the night-time economy, the live music sector, strong investment in renewable energy industries and, very importantly, green waste industry support and market creation.

But there is one industry the Greens do not want to see expand. The Chief Minister’s recent announcement of defence sector growth is problematic. Should we really be proud of growth based on the arms trade? Is the Chief Minister aligning himself with Malcolm Turnbull’s defence export strategy to make Australia a big arms dealer? We have to ask: who is going to buy these weapons systems?

The Turnbull government plans to export arms to markets all around the world, including the Middle East. One country that Australia has recently expanded its military business with is the theocratic dictatorship of Saudi Arabia, which has been locked in military conflict—a conflict that has devastated Yemen. Over 9,000 people


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