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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 3 Hansard (12 March) . . Page.. 915 ..

MRS DUNNE (continuing):

If Mr Corbell were not the minister sitting on this side of the chamber, I would question whether he would have the attitude he has today about Nettlefold Street. It is a big test for Mr Corbell to see that, when you are in government, there are a few more issues that you have to take into consideration. I am glad that he has risen to the occasion and attempted to come up with the right balance of solutions for Nettlefold Street-not just Mr Corbell, but the minister for the environment as well. That issue is going to have to be translated, as the minister said, across a lot of areas throughout the ACT in the next few years.

This should not be the end of the debate today. We should be having an ongoing discussion-in here, in the communities and in the committees of this Assembly-about the real sustainable answers for Canberra. We need to look at alternative places to build our homes because, if we make decisions in relation to endangered ecological communities, we have to find alternatives. That means that we have to be open to building houses where we have not previously thought of doing it. We have to be open to new brownfields developments of the sort envisaged at Kingston Foreshore.

The advantage of brownfields development is that, for the most part, the services and utilities are there, the cost of developing land should be cheaper and that cost should be passed on to the householder. So there should be many economies in brownfields development that should help us bring about affordable housing-again, not just at the entry price. Brownfields developments are often innercity or on the fringes of the central business district, which means that commuting is more economical as well.

We have this tension in the ACT, which is really coming to a head as we look at where we are going as the result of the bushfires. The pine forests are degraded areas that are now even more degraded because they are burnt out, and we have to come up with innovative ideas that will make them sustainable economically, ecologically and socially into this century and beyond.

We have to make decisions about what we plant, where we plant it and whether it is good for the recreational needs of the people of Canberra and the backdrop of Canberra. Is it going to prevent a bushfire threat in the years to come? All of these things need to be addressed. At the same time, we need to address the issue of where we build our housing for the best social and economic outcomes for the people of Canberra.

I thank Ms Tucker for bringing this motion to us today. It is a good way of starting off a debate that should be ongoing. As it stands on the notice paper, the Liberal opposition was feeling uncomfortable about supporting it, but we have no problem in supporting the amendment put forward by the minister. On that basis, if the amendment succeeds, we will support the motion.

MS TUCKER (11.34): I will speak to the amendment. I will not be supporting this. I am interested in the language used here. If I am pre-empting by putting this motion, then the minister is pre-empting by amending it. I do not accept the argument of pre-empting, with regard to the studies. This is about setting a specific principle in place. For that reason, I do not see that it is pre-emptive. I thought it would be a principle worthy of debate, and I was hoping it would be supported.

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