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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 11 Hansard (Thursday, 11 November 2021) . . Page.. 3423 ..


MS BERRY (Ginninderra—Deputy Chief Minister, Minister for Early Childhood Development, Minister for Education and Youth Affairs, Minister for Housing and Suburban Development, Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence, Minister for Sport and Recreation and Minister for Women) (6.42), in reply: I am very happy to have the Greens’ support for this bill in the ACT Legislative Assembly. It is important work that will be occurring in the ACT as we grow and as the population grows in our great city.

I am pleased to speak to, and in support of, this City Renewal Authority and Suburban Land Agency Amendment Bill 2021. The amendments to this bill provide for important measures that would allow a broader range of options for the government to expand housing choices and support for the growth of Canberra. This bill will support the government’s commitment to ensuring an adequate supply of land, with the aim of facilitating high-quality, new neighbourhoods that meet the expectations and demands of Canberra’s diverse population and economy.

Canberra continues to enjoy steady demand as a prosperous and livable city. Over the years, Canberra has flourished to be a highly attractive place to live, as a major regional city which has fared resiliently in recent times through this pandemic. Our city is a thriving place for talented people to find meaningful and fulfilling work, a great place for families to raise children, for students to study and have a world-class education, and for businesses to innovate and contribute to the local economy.

To ensure that Canberra continues to be a fantastic place to live, the Suburban Land Agency was established to develop and release land for housing in the ACT. The Suburban Land Agency balances social, economic and environmental considerations to deliver sustainable urban environments for people and businesses to live and thrive. It aims to include supporting affordable housing, safe and healthy populations, social inclusion, housing choice and environmental sustainability.

The Suburban Land Agency achieves these aims through urban renewal projects and greenfield developments. Its development of land helps create vibrant, inclusive and sustainable communities that are people focused and have diversified the ACT’s economy. This bill will add to the toolkit of options available for the ACT government to develop land in effective ways and support the objectives of the Suburban Land Agency.

Canberra has seen significant growth in the past decade. It is true that the COVID-19 pandemic has caused slower population growth in recent times, particularly as Australian borders were closed. However, with the recent opening of the country’s borders and a steady easing of restrictions on movement, the nation’s capital is projected to grow. This means that there is increasing pressure on land availability, infrastructure and public spaces. Housing is a human need. A good, secure home is fundamental to so many parts of life: school, work, good health, friendships, comfort, security and happiness.

Throughout consultation on the ACT government’s Wellbeing Framework, the Canberra community identified their home as the place where they felt safe and where


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