Page 47 - Week 01 - Tuesday, 10 February 2015

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MADAM SPEAKER: Supplementary question, Mr Hanson.

MR HANSON: Minister, will you take similar regulations to cabinet in future? Just in reference to your answer, could you provide us with an answer on notice as to what specific date that was?

MS BURCH: If I need to take a regulation to cabinet I will, but, as has been made very clear on matters such as this, I will be seeking whole house input, if not certainly binding across this chamber, on matters of such community interest.

Urban renewal—policy

DR BOURKE: My question is to the Chief Minister and Minister for Urban Renewal. Chief Minister, why is urban renewal important for our suburbs and what is the government doing to encourage urban renewal?

MR BARR: I thank Dr Bourke for the question. Canberra is facing the same challenges as many growing cities—population growth, climate change, energy and food security issues. Some of these are very good challenges to have because they are challenges that result from success. People want to come to our city to live and work and this is something that the ACT government is very proud of. But a growing population does mean that we need to take action now to ensure our long-term environmental, economic and social security. We need to take action now to ensure that we hold onto the best of our history as we grow into our potential as a larger city.

I want Canberra to be a growing city, I want Canberra to be a vibrant city and I want Canberra to be a city of distinct communities. We are a city made up of many different local communities, each with their own strengths and their own character. We saw those strengths and that character on display during our city’s centenary year, with a range of real grassroots initiatives such as the ever popular parties at the shops. That is something I am determined that we keep from our centenary year and we build on that legacy. Urban renewal is important to make sure that we make those communities sustainable.

One of the reasons that people fall in love with our city is the amenity of our quiet, leafy suburbs. Urban renewal is important to make sure that we hold onto that amenity as we shape a new and more diverse growth of our town centres. The government is committed to ensuring that Canberrans have a wide range of choices in how and where they live. The structure of our city means that we can deliver much of that choice in our existing town and city centres and along our key public transport routes. Each of our city’s town centres is undergoing renewal, adding to the diversity and choice available to Canberrans about where and how they want to live.

Increased density and diversity in our town centres and on our transport routes will not, of course, all happen at once. Urban renewal is a long-term process, but it is one that is already significantly underway. The government will make sure that in this process of change existing communities are consulted and everyone gets the chance to experience the benefits of this renewal in our city.

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