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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 12 Hansard (Thursday, 25 November 2021) . . Page.. 3689 ..

We need a sensible approach to mid-rise medium density in other residential zones. The Kingston foreshore is a good example of using reasonable building heights and water frontage to create a precinct with character. We need to move away from the trend toward high-rise towers in town centres. When I am out in the community, across Canberra, meeting with people and groups—at their doors, in the shopping centres—I find that very few people are keen on these. People want larger blocks with more room, with a yard. I have spoken to lots of people moving into my electorate of Ginninderra who move in because they enjoy the streetscape, the privacy and the room at the back of the house where their children can enjoy some secure playtime.

Mr Parton has touched on building quality on many occasions. Building quality continues to be a concern for Canberrans. The government should improve its current regulation of construction.

I support the appropriation, but I encourage the community to continue to make known to government their views about what they see Canberra turning into and the planning decisions of this minister.

MS VASSAROTTI (Kurrajong—Minister for the Environment, Minister for Heritage, Minister for Homelessness and Housing Services and Minister for Sustainable Building and Construction) (11.28): I am really pleased to speak today on some of the issues that sit within my portfolio area within this output class.

Canberra is a city built on Ngunnawal country, within the natural setting of our hills, ridgeways and waterways. Our parks, reserves, lakes and river corridors are part of our tree-enriched city. As Canberrans, we value highly our natural environment and our access to nature throughout and around our city. Almost 50 per cent of our population live within 500 metres of a park or reserve, and 25 per cent of our population live within 100 metres. We value our strong connection to nature and understand that our health and wellbeing are enhanced by access to our natural environment. That is why I am really pleased that we are putting many resources into protecting this environment.

I would like to note the support that we are providing for environmental volunteer groups and the three ACT catchment management groups to care for the environment through coordinated community engagement and volunteering. The contribution that these groups make is staggering, from pulling weeds out to caring for injured wildlife, participating in citizen science programs like Frogwatch and Waterwatch, and developing rehabilitation and restoration projects.

For 2021-22, the three ACT catchment management groups have been granted $131,500 each, a total of $394,500, to continue their community stewardship work. These catchment groups are each receiving approximately $87,000, $261,000 in total this year, to deliver the Waterwatch program, with the Frogwatch program also receiving $87,000 this year. ACT Wildlife has been granted $103,000 to care for sick and injured wildlife.

In addition, funding has been made available to the community for local, ongoing on-ground projects through the environment grants program. This includes ACT

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