Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 09 Hansard (Wednesday, 23 August 2017) . . Page.. 3213 ..
associated with population growth but we will now receive a greater share of GST revenue because our population is higher, as the GST distribution is based on the relative populations of states and territories. A larger city, a more diverse city, leads to a more diverse economic base and more diverse streams of revenue for the territory government.
Whilst there are increased costs, there are also increased revenues, and the federal financial relations system does take account of that. Similarly, in most areas of national partnerships with the commonwealth government, your population is what determines your level of commonwealth funding for various programs. So the revenue side of the equation is also enhanced when population increase occurs.
But yes, we do need to be very conscious of the impacts on the environment, particularly of urban sprawl, and that is something that other speakers will speak about. (Time expired.)
MS LE COUTEUR (Murrumbidgee) (11.56): Some elements of the motion circulated by Mr Pettersson are admirable. It is clearly a good thing that the ACT government is investing in infrastructure. Obviously, the Greens support adequate investment in public transport, investment in education and investment in health infrastructure. I do note one noticeable omission in terms of his calls was concern about affordable housing. That is something I have been banging on about in this place for a long time, and I will do so again here. We are not having affordable housing. At this point I seek leave to move my two amendments together.
MS LE COUTEUR: I move:
(1) After paragraph (1)(d), insert:
“(e) economic growth driven by population growth and consumption is unsustainable, and alternative approaches to prosperity must be sought;
(f) the ACT’s ecological footprint is determined by the number of people in the ACT, their per capita consumption of resources and energy, and factors such as urban design, transport and food production;
(g) population growth can therefore have large negative impacts on the environment, including increased greenhouse gas emissions, higher demand for water, loss of farmland to housing and higher production of waste; and
(h) population growth also places increasing pressure on infrastructure, including driving up demand for hospitals and schools and increasing traffic congestion, and that this puts a large financial burden on the ACT Government to fund both infrastructure expansion and rising operating costs;”.
(2) After paragraph (3)(b), add: