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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 06 Hansard (Thursday, 3 June 2021) . . Page.. 1721 ..


clean to breathe, where it’s a pleasure to swim in the rivers and where we can all live lives that are more harmonious with ourselves, our communities and our planet.

Sound like Canberra? National park city status for Canberra would provide us with yet another feather in our cap. It would add credentials to our marketing campaigns, our sense of identity, place and pride. It would challenge us to further our aspirations for a healthy, green, clean city. Canberra offers an unparalleled intersect between urban living and natural environments. We have the best of both worlds, where the most indulgent, civilised and sophisticated experiences of city living are just a hop, skip and jump from our nature parks and natural environments.

Organisations, groups and businesses across the ACT contribute in many ways and from many different perspectives. Their work shows the breadth of talent and interest that we have within our community, from the cultural heritage embedded in the ACT from our traditional custodians to our environmental and social groups and our innovative, imaginative businesses that make such a considerable contribution to the fabric of this city. Within government, projects and initiatives, including those from the City Renewal Authority, Floriade Reimagined, Enlighten, the Multicultural Festival, Nature Play and others, all contribute to place-making and liveability.

It is often said that, in our city of 470,000 people, we have 460,000 planners. I see this as a real positive. Canberrans are active, engaged and passionate about their city and its future. Let us embrace the opportunity that a national park city status would present by working collaboratively and cohesively for a joint vision that brings us all together.

If Canberra were to become a national park city, a robust framework that sets out our vision would need to be developed. I would encourage that this align with a wide range of existing government policies and objectives, including our wellbeing indicators; ACT transport strategy and active travel framework; our statement of planning intent; the current planning reform work that is underway; and the draft reserve management plan for the Canberra Nature Park which is currently available for public comment.

Unlike UNESCO World Heritage Sites or national parks, as we commonly know them, national park cities, overseen by the World Urban Parks Association and the National Park City Foundation, do not carry the burden of legislation, regulatory restriction or bureaucracy. They do, however, carry accountability through annual reporting and measurement against stated outcomes.

National park city status is an ongoing journey. It is a continual engagement with the National Park City Foundation and with other national park cities worldwide. It is an ongoing opportunity to challenge ourselves, to pursue continual improvement in merging the benefits of city living with our surrounding and immersive natural environments and experiences through strategic policy and everyday actions.

It is a continual dialogue between city leaders, community groups, businesses and organisations. It provides an ongoing opportunity to promote our identity, our sense of


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