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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 09 Hansard (Wednesday, 23 August 2017) . . Page.. 3217 ..

at the Canberra region as a whole, which has the prospects and the capability of potentially being an area that can be self-sustaining, food-wise. We would look at stronger sustainable transport targets and stronger action.

In conclusion, I thank Mr Pettersson for his motion, but I feel that it does not go far enough in looking at the costs as well as the benefits, if any, of increased growth. We need as a community to look at what is happening. There are already about nine billion people in this world. It is hard to see how our ecology can accommodate more. In fact, it is clear that it cannot. We have already reached ecological overshoot and we need to do what we can to ensure that we have a world that we can all live in.

MS LAWDER (Brindabella) (12.10): I am pleased to speak today to Mr Pettersson’s motion. I agree that infrastructure planning is vital to keep up with, and plan ahead for, population growth. Good planned infrastructure is vital to ensure that Canberra becomes and remains a great place to live. I think we all agree that the people of Canberra deserve the best when it comes to infrastructure. They deserve infrastructure that is reflective of our diverse community. The people of Canberra deserve infrastructure that is inclusive of everyone, no matter what part of Canberra they live in. It should also leave visitors remembering what made Canberra such a great place.

This is a quote from Rick Yancey:

Cities are more than the sum of their infrastructure. They transcend brick and mortar, concrete and steel. They’re the vessels into which human knowledge is poured.

You know this yourself. You go to a particular site, possibly a building, and it is really memorable for you. What is it that makes it memorable? If it is part of the built environment, it may be one of those grand, world-renowned, beautiful properties. It may have a charming lobby or lovely rooms. It may have been there for decades. People remember visiting that particular building long after the time that memories of others fade away.

That starts with a vision. Of course, it is backed up by planners, architects, builders, a whole lot of other specialists, good advice and, of course, capital. It must also be followed up with an ongoing commitment to evolve and adapt in the modern world. So the infrastructure motion that we have from Mr Pettersson today I think reminds us that communities continually demand better infrastructure. As politicians, as elected representatives, we increasingly see major infrastructure initiatives as a centrepiece of budget announcements and policy platforms.

It is a topic that everyone likes to talk about but sometimes, or even frequently, disagrees on, such as at the last election. The government went to the election with the idea to build the tram. But a focus on infrastructure is not in itself a guarantee of better outcomes. The focus needs to be on the right areas to get the right results. What we have seen sometimes in the past decade or more here is a lack of emphasis on the planning phase.

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