Page 4319 - Week 12 - Wednesday, 25 October 2017

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MR BARR: When it takes possession of the car park.

MR WALL: Minister, will the CFMEU be able to stay rent free in the building that the ACT government owns after the 42-month grace period has expired?


MR PARTON: Is the CFMEU allowed to sublease part of the building?

MR BARR: I will need to check the terms of their arrangements in relation to that matter.

Environment—nature strip guidelines

MS LE COUTEUR: My question is to the Minister for Transport and City Services and relates to guidelines about what can be planted on residential nature strips. In July 2016, draft guidelines were released with a tentative final release date of 1 July 2017. Can you update the Assembly on the time lines for the final verge gardening guidelines and what, if any, changes have been made as a result of ACAT deliberations on public unleased territory land?

MS FITZHARRIS: I thank Ms Le Couteur for the question and note too that there has been a delay in producing the final nature strip guidelines. That is because of some considerations by ACAT. I cannot recall them immediately on the floor of the chamber but I will take that question on notice and provide a follow up to Ms Le Couteur.

MS LE COUTEUR: What was the community feedback on the consultation, both from the online survey and other workshops?

MS FITZHARRIS: I recall that it was very mixed, as we often find in this particular portfolio. For the many people who wish to have the opportunity to further develop their nature strips, there are also people who quite vehemently did not want to see nature strips developed.

My understanding of the work that TCCS has done in the meantime has been to find the right balance between allowing people to use nature strips productively, particularly for vegetable growing—and, in particular suburbs of Canberra, that is something that people are very keen to do, and there is a general view that that could be a useful, productive way for people to produce their own food on a nature strip—and of course community safety, the protection of assets which lie underneath the ground and also on public land within the nature strip, which is the balance that TCCS has been trying to find.

I have asked them to find the right balance so that we can allow a little more to happen on nature strips while maintaining community safety and the amenity of each suburb as well. I expect to see those in the next month or so.

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