Page 669 - Week 02 - Thursday, 6 March 2008

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sustainable transport plan provides direction and actions to achieve a more sustainable transport system. Both plans together set the overarching strategy for the ACT and play a major role in achieving government policy.

As a detailed planning document, the territory plan has the fundamental purpose in management of planning and development within the ACT in a manner consistent with the planning strategy. The spatial plan has identified a range of areas within the territory plan that requires review to achieve the government’s commitment. The restructured territory plan includes a statement of strategic directions, which contains principles and policies related to national, regional and territory interest. Of specific importance are the principles for sustainable development, which follow a triple bottom line approach in relation to environmental, social and economical sustainability.

I am pleased to see that the government has picked up on quite a few of the planning and environment committee’s recommendations in regard to sustainable development. Paragraph 1.6 at page 2 of the statement of strategic directions of the new territory plan, under the heading “Environmental sustainability”, states:

Particular attention will be given to the need to conserve soil, water and vegetation; maintain biological diversity; safeguard important ecosystems and ecological processes; and provide and protect wildlife corridors.

Mr Speaker, to realise this vision at a whole-of-government level, the restructured territory plan and the Planning and Development Act 2007 are important tools in the implementation of government policy. The ACT government has previously made a commitment towards sustainability through “People, place and prosperity”, a policy paper for sustainability in the ACT. Of major significance is the compact city, with residential intensification in order to use resources more efficiently.

Climate change, as we have said, is another area that poses a challenge for our time. The Council of Australian Governments met in December 2007 and recognised there was a unique opportunity for commonwealth-state cooperation on seven key areas in 2008, including climate change and water. The working group on climate change and water is charged with ensuring sustainable water use across Australia and developing an effective national response to climate change. This encompasses a single national emissions trading scheme incorporating state schemes, a nationally consistent set of climate change measures to support the emissions trading scheme, and a national cooperative approach to long-term adaptation to climate change.

The climate change strategy that was released by the ACT government provides an overview of climate change science, the predicted impacts on the ACT and the government’s vision and direction for responding to climate change. The climate change strategy also complements the people, place prosperity and think water, act water strategies that address long-term water needs of the territory.

In addition to the climate change strategy and in line with the COAG agreement, the new territory plan includes strategies to improve the environmental performance of subdivision design and achieve targets for urban water use reduction and stormwater

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