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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 12 Hansard (Thursday, 25 November 2021) . . Page.. 3678 ..


assess the effectiveness of government policies and programs and hold the government to account on such important work.

MS CLAY (Ginninderra) (10.48): As the Greens spokesperson for planning and parks and conservation, I would like to make a few comments on the budget. I have learned more about planning in the past 12 months then I ever thought I would in a lifetime. I am really grateful to be chairing the planning committee. It has been an invaluable way to learn, although I am speaking today in my capacity as an MLA.

The next 12 months will see some major decisions on planning that will shape Canberra’s future for decades to come. The ACT Planning System Review and Reform Project is one of those rare opportunities for the community to be involved in the development of the ACT’s new planning system. Our current system is not working for us. I hear regular complaints from many different stakeholders—from those in the community when I am out on stalls or at events and when they write to me, all the way up to people in the industry. This is our chance to get it right.

I am glad that the ACT Planning System Review and Reform Project is a priority again in this budget. I want to take this opportunity to talk about why it is important and what the ACT Greens want to see come out of this. We need to get this review and the new legislation right.

Reviewing your planning laws is not something that you do often; nor should you. I want to make sure that the new system is robust enough that it is still around when my seven-year-old is an adult. I want to make sure that it looks after her, and her generation, and all of the things we love about Canberra—the bush and the biodiversity that make Canberra home. I want to make sure that it is sustainable and takes into consideration our changing climate. I want to make sure that it provides a home, in different shapes and sizes, for everyone.

The ACT Greens have considered the sorts of things that we would like to see in this new planning system. We have cut our very long list down to eight issues. These are: climate change, person-centred development, affordable housing, community consultation, protecting trees and green space, respecting Aboriginal culture, adequately resourcing our decision-makers, and holding those decisions to account.

Climate change and emissions reduction targets should be factored in to our planning decisions. We should consider our emissions reduction targets when we build new roads or duplicate or extend existing roads. We need to consider the heat island effect when developing Canberra. But we should not simply think about adapting to the climate change that is already locked in. We need to keep working to reduce our emissions in the first place.

The built environment is a major source of scope 3 embedded emissions. Minister Vassarotti recently tabled the Commissioner for Sustainability and the Environment’s report on this. That report is a great starting point to measure these emissions and start cutting back. There are so many opportunities to use design to reduce the amount of building materials we need. We can also recover more with different demolition techniques, and we can use recycled materials in our construction. We can choose


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