Page 2796 - Week 09 - Wednesday, 12 August 2015

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banking; they are trying to develop their blocks or even trying to sell them but are unable to because of the fees and charges imposed by this government.

It is hard not to be cynical when looking at the fees and charges this government imposes on the construction industry. You cannot help but conclude that the fees and charges, especially the lease variation charge, are all geared towards higher yield for the LDA. It is simply about making LDA land more attractive and, therefore, about higher yield. On the one hand you have the government saying they want higher density, “We want people living on transport corridors. We want people living on the light rail corridor,” yet just about all the LDA developments are happening outside the light rail corridor.

All the new greenfield sites are all outside the light rail corridor. What is light rail going to do for people in Moncrieff? How is light rail going to service people who live four or five kilometres away from the nearest light rail stop? We in the opposition do not have a problem with greenfield sites on the edge of the city, but we would not pretend to say that the light rail route is going to service them. That is what this government seems to be saying. It is saying someone in Moncrieff is going to be better off because of light rail. We simply do not accept it. I firmly believe the vast majority of people in Gungahlin are going to be worse off as a result of light rail.

This government has made a mess of the planning system in the territory. As I have said on many occasions, it is time for a total rework of the system, and the first step should be a comprehensive review and simplification of the territory plan.

MR CORBELL (Molonglo—Deputy Chief Minister, Attorney-General, Minister for Health, Minister for the Environment and Minister for Capital Metro) (8.39): The 2015-16 budget reinforces our commitment, this Labor government’s commitment, to the environment. The ACT is now a recognised leader in developing solutions that address the challenges of climate change at a city and regional level whilst also lessening the burden on households and, in particular, those on lower incomes.

We are working to help all ACT residents with an innovative and interactive sustainability website called the Actsmart sustainability hub, which I launched last year. This provides practical hints and tips on how to reduce your impact on the environment as well as the opportunity to challenge friends and colleagues on the impact of activities on the environment. The website will continue to be updated throughout the year and continue to provide useful information to the local community.

Our conservation activities are continuing to deliver outstanding outcomes for endangered species in the territory. I was delighted earlier this year that our ecologists confirmed that corroboree frogs which were bred in captivity have survived in the wild now for a number of years. This is very exciting as it shows that the preservation programs assist in reversing the continuing decline of these endangered frogs in the wild. This work by EPD conservators, along with a number of other unique programs, will continue throughout 2016 as a result of funding in this year’s budget.

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