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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 09 Hansard (Tuesday, 21 August 2018) . . Page.. 3325 ..


I would also like to mention funding for additional rangers and habitat management, particularly focused on pest plant and animal management. This is a key parliamentary agreement item for the Greens. The sporadic funding of this is really not something that works very well for pest and weed control.

I move on to planning. Of course, planning is very important in terms of climate change. We need to plan a city that will be a zero emissions city. As I said, that means planning our transport sector correctly, planning the location of things in the ACT so that they are compact and so that we do not need to expend a lot of energy moving from one place to another.

It also means planning housing that people want to live in, that people enjoy living in, that is affordable, that meets people’s needs and that is current for our climate. One of the things we are particularly interested in is the money—about $750,000—for the housing choices review of the rules for residential housing and preparing sites for demonstration housing projects. The Greens are very supportive of both these projects. Demonstration housing has been talked about for probably the past 10 years. It seems to be finally happening as a result of my motion in June last year.

Looking at housing choices, this is an innovative use of participatory democracy. I hope it will be a particularly good one. We know that how our residential areas are developed attracts considerable community interest and that there is not total community consensus about this. Mr Parton spoke about it in his speech. He felt that people should not be, to use his words, forced into apartments and that most of us wanted to live in detached houses.

I do not know if most of us do want to live in detached houses. I also do not know whether we have looked at the implications for Canberra as a whole if we continue putting most people in detached housing. How we do our residential housing has attracted a lot of attention from this government, from the planning minister, from the planning committee and from the citizens of Canberra, because I do not think what we are doing at present is serving us very well. It is not environmentally sustainable. It does not meet the needs of the inhabitants of the diverse city of Canberra. It is certainly not affordable for many people.

It also leads to a huge amount of conflict between residents, developers and government. Partly that is due to our planning rules; partly that is due to how our consultation is done. I note that we have had about 60 submissions to the public accounts committee inquiry. This is not because people are sitting around thinking that they would like to write a submission. It is because people have genuine concerns about how we are actually doing planning in the ACT and they want to make it better. They want less conflict

I think we are all looking for the same things. We want smaller, more affordable houses while protecting our garden city character. The Greens strongly think it is possible to do both of these. The housing choices project and the demonstration housing project will hopefully show Canberra how we can do better. Hopefully, they will work towards resolving these longstanding problems. I look forward to progress in this area over the next 12 months.


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