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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 10 Hansard (Friday, 8 October 2021) . . Page.. 3047 ..


and active travel, which is reflected in increased funding in arts and road safety in this budget.

There are so many other important initiatives in this budget and I look forward to discussing more of them during the detail stage. We are particularly pleased to see the planting of more trees to work towards a 30 per cent urban tree canopy by 2045, bringing biodiversity to suburbs and bringing down local temperatures in summer to ensure that our city is more resilient to climate change; the advancing of the ACT’s circular economy and reducing potent methane emissions from landfill with a trial of food and organic waste recycling, known as FOGO, and scoping for permanent processing facilities; and making it affordable for everyone to switch from polluting fossil fuel gas to efficient electric appliances for their heating, cooking and hot water.

Interest-free loans are now available through the sustainable household scheme, and support for low income renters and owners will be offered through the vulnerable household energy support scheme, because we know it is low income households who can benefit the most from energy efficiency. We are investing in education through this budget to support the growing demand on ACT schools; ensuring schools are an appropriate temperature for students and staff with thermal comfort funding; delivering $14 million to remove hazardous materials; employing more teacher-librarians; offering innovative curriculum options to meet the varied needs of ACT students; investing in mental health promotion and prevention by youth and social workers; and rolling out universal early education. I thank the Minister for Education for her passion for this important area of our city’s needs.

Overall, the budget delivers or progresses around 90 commitments that the ACT Greens took to the last election, with real climate action, more and better housing and support for community sector and volunteer organisations that do an incredible job looking after local people and our local environment. This is only one year of an ambitious agenda that we intend to roll out during this Assembly. I am grateful for the hard work of both my Greens and Labor colleagues during these unusual times.

Of course, we have much more work to do to build climate resilience, support our community, provide a home for all and to work alongside our First Nations community to address past wrongs, but this budget is without a doubt a down payment on meeting these goals. I am proud to commend this budget to the Assembly.

Debate (on motion by Mr Gentleman) adjourned to the next sitting.

Appropriation (Office of the Legislative Assembly) Bill 2021-2022

Debate resumed.

Debate (on motion by Mr Gentleman) adjourned to the next sitting.

Children and young people—mental health

MR PETTERSSON (Yerrabi) (4.44): I move:


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