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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2019 Week 11 Hansard (Wednesday, 25 September 2019) . . Page.. 3850 ..

MR GENTLEMAN: The ACT planning strategy is the long-term strategic document that sets out the vision for Canberra. It identifies areas for development, concentrated in our town and group centres and along major transport corridors. This includes planning for how our city will look, with an expanded light rail network linking more of our town centres. It also plans for a growing Canberra, with around 8,000 people each year moving to Canberra for our excellent jobs and livable city. The opposition has no responsible plan for this growth. Perhaps they should build a border wall.

Creating a sustainable city means making it easier for people to choose to walk, cycle or use public transport for their journey to work. Our planning strategy sets out the guidelines for responsible development. The planning strategy is how Canberra sets a long-term strategic direction.

Mr Coe: Compelling stuff, Mick.

MR GENTLEMAN: The government consulted extensively on the strategy, and it was subject to a committee inquiry. The Leader of the Opposition, who is interjecting across the room, demonstrated last week that he is either unwilling or unable to understand Canberra’s planning system when he criticised the Territory Plan for not setting a direction for Canberra. Yes, the Territory Plan outlines what is developed and where; that is what it is designed to do. But the planning strategy is the long-term plan. This is the Leader of the Opposition showing his simplistic approach to policy yet again, too distracted with undergraduate-style politics to bother doing any work.

His inexperience and lack of ability to understand some basic planning concepts mean that the Leader of the Opposition is either incapable of undertaking a simple Google search or ignorant as to what is happening in his community.

MS CHEYNE: Minister, how does the planning strategy provide more equitable outcomes for Canberrans?

MR GENTLEMAN: An equitable Canberra is at the heart of the government’s planning strategy. We want to make sure that Canberrans are close to jobs, transport, services, shops, friends and family. The planning strategy does this by providing a mix of housing types in a mix of different suburbs. People are able to downsize as well as upsize. Those who want to live in apartments close to work and restaurants can do so. Having a range of housing types at different prices across our city means that it is easier for people to move when their income or lifestyle changes.

The vision, if you can call it that, from the Leader of the Opposition is an outdated dream for all Canberrans to live in outer suburbs and drive to work in their Audis, clogging our roads and polluting our environment. Long commute times to distant suburbs mean that people are disconnected from work and disconnected from each other. The Leader of the Opposition, Mr Stamp Duty, thinks that all Canberrans want to have their 2.3 children and live in the suburbs.

Opposition members interjecting

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