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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 06 Hansard (Thursday, 3 June 2021) . . Page.. 1731 ..

Our government understands particularly the importance of active travel and active streets for livable neighbourhoods. As we undertake urban intensification, it is about making sure that we are not encroaching on the environment around Canberra, making sure that people can access our existing green spaces, and making sure that those green spaces are of even higher quality and are used more by the community because of that quality.

We will continue our work in enhancing our footpath and cyclepath network. Providing seating to allow people to stop and spend time in green spaces and on our streets, providing safe opportunities to cross roads and having a clear walking priority at intersections are some of the actions that have been identified under the Transport Strategy that we will be taking forward. Recognition as a national park city will help augment Canberra’s extensive cycling network and opportunities for active travel, going forward.

In a ministerial statement, Minister Vassarotti has spoken in the Assembly about another important aspect of the national park cities charter: locally grown food. There is another element to that: responsible consumption. The government is currently running a campaign in the ACT—the Love Food, Hate Waste campaign—to educate all Canberrans about meaningful action that they can take to reduce their food waste.

There is a lot of work that the ACT government is doing, and that Canberra has historically been doing, that will make sure that we can be recognised as a national park city. We are looking forward to that. I have not been able to touch on many of the other things that are happening around Canberra that will contribute to the work and values under the charter. Stromlo Forest Park and the National Arboretum are two I have not mentioned that add value as well.

MR PETTERSSON (Yerrabi) (3.50): I rise today to speak in support of Dr Paterson’s motion calling for Canberra to become a national park city.

Canberra is known throughout Australia and the world as the bush capital. The term was first coined in the early 1900s after the Constitution required the national capital to be at least 100 miles from Sydney. “Bush capital” was often seen as a derogatory and disrespectful phrase. However, it has now come to encompass more than just the location of our city; it is a major part of Canberra’s culture and identity. It is a phrase that I am sure that all of us here can take pride in. Canberra is well-known for its large open green spaces and abundance of urban tree canopy. It is what makes our city unique, and we should strive to protect this.

Recently Canberra was named the world’s most sustainable city, an accomplishment that is awarded based on a city’s energy efficiency, pollution levels, air quality and percentage of green space. This achievement is testament to the hard work and vision of nearly 20 years of continuous Labor government. As the most sustainable city in the world, it makes sense for Canberra to become a national park city as well. Canberra possesses all the qualities to become a national park city. We have an energetic local community that is keen to see Canberra remain a green, healthy, sustainable city.

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