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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 05 Hansard (Wednesday, 9 May 2018) . . Page.. 1657 ..

Hopefully, it also demonstrates to the community the benefits of actually having the Greens in the Assembly.

Further, I note that I am waiting eagerly—the whole sector is waiting eagerly—for the government to deliver its affordable housing strategy. I think everybody is hopeful that it will deliver meaningful actions to reduce the widening inequality gap in this space. I support very much Ms Cody’s call on the government to continue to invest in expanding our core services, but we need to make sure that this investment is for the benefit of all our residents, including those who are doing it tough.

MR GENTLEMAN (Brindabella—Minister for Police and Emergency Services, Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Minister for Planning and Land Management and Minister for Urban Renewal) (11.41): I am pleased to rise today in my capacity as both a minister and a member for Brindabella. I want to congratulate Ms Cody on her excellent motion and her eloquent and thoughtful contribution when moving the motion. Our city is growing. Canberra is growing because people from across Australia can see the possibilities here: interesting, well-paid jobs; world-leading study and research opportunities; and a community that champions innovation and new businesses. More and more people who have grown up here are also choosing to stay in Canberra over leaving for Sydney or Melbourne because of its blend of big city activities, lack of traffic congestion, inclusive community, great amenity and healthy lifestyle.

Our city’s growth is an opportunity and a challenge. Canberra is already more lively and diverse today because of it. But we know that services and infrastructure have to grow alongside our community to make sure a bigger Canberra is also a better one. As the ACT budget trends to balance, we are increasing investment in core services that Canberrans need and rely on—great local schools, reliable and accessible health care, and transport infrastructure that makes commuting quick and easy. We are putting more police, firefighters and paramedics to work keeping Canberrans safe, and delivering better amenities for both our city and local suburbs.

No other government in Australia delivers as many different services as we do. From schools, hospitals and emergency services to footpaths, recycling and parks, we really do deliver across the spectrum and understand that the quality and convenience of these services is a big part of what makes Canberra such a great place to live.

The ACT government is growing services for our growing city. As the Chief Minister advised, the construction of Canberra’s light rail network is the most significant transport project this city has ever embarked upon. With construction on stage 1 from Gungahlin to the city now well on track for completion in late 2018, we are driving ahead with stage 2 to Woden.

We are upgrading, building and planning for eight important roads, including duplicating Gundaroo Drive through to the Barton Highway and signalising the intersection of Gundaroo Drive and Mirrabei Drive. We are extending Canberra’s 3,500 kilometres of footpaths and cycleways by starting work on the Belconnen bikeway to link the University of Canberra, Radford College, CIT Bruce and GIO Stadium with the Belconnen town centre. We are also investing over $4 million

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