Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 07 Hansard (Wednesday, 23 June 2021) . . Page.. 1923 ..
Supporting access to mental health care and community settings ensures that people receive care that is appropriate to their needs as soon as they start to become unwell, reducing the need for acute inpatient care and supporting a lasting recovery.
MS VASSAROTTI (Kurrajong—Minister for the Environment, Minister for Heritage, Minister for Homelessness and Housing Services and Minister for Sustainable Building and Construction) (11.02): As outlined by members of this house, the ACT infrastructure plan is an incredibly important one for the territory. Thank you for the opportunity to outline how work in some of my portfolio areas supports and interacts with the plan. Mr Assistant Speaker, today I wish to focus on how the infrastructure plan will relate to the territory’s living infrastructure and to our plans to make homes accessible and climate resilient.
The ACT government is committed to achieving sustainable development outcomes that meet the needs of our growing population, while retaining the values, features and the landscape setting that makes Canberra such a great place. Canberra’s living infrastructure plan: cooling the city provides a strategic direction on how living infrastructure can reduce Canberra’s climate vulnerability and help make Canberra a sustainable, liveable and resilient city into the future. The plan closely aligns with the intent of the ACT infrastructure plan to ensure that, as new infrastructure projects are developed to service the needs of a modern city, we do not lose those valued features that have become a hallmark of Canberra.
We are delivering on several actions under the living infrastructure plan and it is a real privilege to work with colleagues across government to deliver these. This includes planting 54,000 trees in Canberra between 2020 and 2024 to contribute towards the target of 30 per cent canopy cover by 2045. Demonstration projects such as the Whitlam display village are trialling innovative living infrastructure solutions, such as passive irrigation, permeable driveway surfaces and advanced tree plantings. The nature in the city grants were established in 2020 under the ACT Environment Grants Program to support community participation in protecting and enhancing the living infrastructure across Canberra.
The Chief Minister has spoken about how well-planned infrastructure can improve the quality of people’s lives, support adaptation to a changing climate and break down barriers to social inclusion, amongst other benefits. Ensuring that we have appropriate regulation and standards can also contribute to realising these important benefits. Making our homes accessible and climate resilient is integral to this.
Earlier this year, I announced that the ACT government would be supporting a proposal to include minimum accessibility standards for new houses, townhouses and apartments in the national construction code. Introducing minimum accessibility standards is a commitment in the parliamentary and governing agreement.
The ACT government has had a longstanding commitment to universal design standards. I was extremely pleased that at the meeting of building ministers on 30 April this year, ministers agreed to include minimum accessibility provisions in the national construction code, based on the liveable housing design guidelines silver standards. Introducing minimum accessibility standards for new homes will increase