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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 12 Hansard (Thursday, 25 November 2021) . . Page.. 3687 ..


distinctive visitor centre at Tidbinbilla was built in 2001 from mudbricks sourced from and constructed on site. This new money will be used to deliver design and repair works, predominantly to the roof of the building, and to design the upgrade of accessible toilet facilities.

This is but a snapshot of the good work within the directorate. I am delighted by how its people are contributing to planning and caring for our territory so that we can continue to grow sustainably while protecting our environment. I would like to thank the hardworking staff from the Environment, Planning and Sustainable Development Directorate for all their dedication this year. In particular, I would like to thank staff for their flexibility and resilience this year, in helping the ACT government respond to the pandemic. They are key staff who ensure that our city remains a great place to live, work and stay connected to nature.

MR CAIN (Ginninderra) (11.19): We will be supporting the appropriation. We trust that it is well used, but the signs are not good when we look at the history of this government’s management of planning in the territory. We have not got the balance right, and I fear it is only going to get worse once we see the new planning act and Territory Plan.

Yesterday, the minister indicated that there would be a consultation period once the outcomes of the planning review are released early next year. However, my attendance at six of the eight district planning forums showed that the previous consultation was merely a superficial exercise, something that is frequently reinforced to me at community council meetings.

During the estimates session with the combined community councils on 15 October regarding the consultation during the planning review, one attending chair stated that it was a tick-box exercise; another said that it was non-existent consultation; and a third said that it was pitiful engagement by government. This is the view of the community councils in our districts in Canberra. Shameful.

We have seen poor planning outcomes delivered by this government for over a decade. We recognise that there is a need to both meet the huge growth in demand for housing that we have seen over the past two decades and retain the essence of what it means to live in Australia’s bush capital, as well as retain its garden city character.

People of this country should be proud that Canberra is their capital. They should look at this city and its streetscapes, its suburbs and its town centres and be glad that this is the capital city of Australia. Canberra should be a postcard for this nation. I wonder how many would be pleased to see it in its current development.

During question time yesterday, I mentioned the Winton report on housing choices. As the minister is aware, in 2015 the Winton report was issued. This report was in response to the government’s own survey of the community’s housing and planning preferences.

Here are some of the key findings from that report. I acknowledge the important messaging on this by a former Labor Chief Minister, Jon Stanhope, who should be


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