Page 316 - Week 01 - Thursday, 15 December 2016

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importantly, sustainable city. It is essential that government sets the direction for city growth and renewal, which adds to our unique character and demonstrates to the world that we are welcoming, inclusive, and an interesting place to live and work. The time is right for to us to also refocus our efforts on making available new and affordable home sites in suburban communities to meet the demands of a growing population. The ABS have again confirmed today that more than 5,000 new people join our city every year.

Celebrating our centenary has helped us focus on what is special about our city and confirmed our exciting future. As a government and as a community, we must build on that feeling, and create that future together. Cities do not succeed by accident or by leaving things to chance; they require good design, good governance, and great collaboration. Cities must internally collaborate to compete in the modern era, and together we can ensure that Canberra wins the global contest for investment and for talent. In that contest, we have key advantages. Today, we are counted as one of the world’s most livable cities, a top 10 destination for inward investment and a magnet for high-achieving students. Our city’s reputation for openness, inclusiveness, sustainability and climate action is known around the world. I want to add to that reputation a deep commitment to a sustainable model of urban development.

Helping us to shape our future is a type of governance that is unique in Australia. Other cities lack the metropolitan integration, cross-government coordination and proximity between government, business and community which Canberra alone enjoys. We have the clear assets and strengths of a capital city with a global reach. Canberra is truly a city like no other. Our task is to ensure that as Canberra grows and develops, we build on this Canberra advantage while retaining what makes our city special—a place that all Canberrans and the nation can be proud of, with a confident community and a confident economy, that is prepared for the opportunities and challenges ahead.

While all Australian cities are set to grow significantly, no other city has quite our opportunity to get the balance right between a dynamic city centre and flourishing suburbs, preserving the best of what we have now whilst embracing and preparing for necessary change. We must recognise one simple proposition: we shape change or it shapes us. Standing still is simply not an option for Canberra. We need more than a business-as-usual approach to achieve our potential and deliver the successful, equitable and sustainable city that Canberrans seek.

From the strength of our heritage, values and identity, we embrace the future and welcome all to “choose Canberra”, to come and help shape its further success. And while our aim is the urban renewal and economic diversification of Canberra, at the core of our vision is a city that reflects and houses an inclusive, welcoming society open to diverse talents and determined to help everyone reach their fullest potential and to share in the prosperity of our city. In the simplest of possible terms, Canberra is open to change, open to talent, open to business, open to diversity and open to innovation. It is a progressive city for all, shaped by all, with opportunities for all, no matter where they live in the city or where they come from. As an aside, having heard all of the inaugural speeches in this place this week, that statement is very clearly represented in the people who have been elected to this chamber.

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