Page 5242 - Week 14 - Wednesday, 29 November 2017

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MS CHEYNE: Chief Minister, how will the government continue to support Canberra’s LGBTIQ community moving forward?

MR BARR: Earlier this month I attended the ACT LGBTIQ ministerial advisory council’s inclusive Canberra think tank. The forum that was held here in the Assembly provided a way to consult with the community on what being Australia’s most LGBTI inclusive city means to them and how we can ensure that no members of the LGBTIQ community are left behind. We will continue to work closely with the ministerial advisory council and other key community groups, including the AIDS Action Council and A Gender Agenda through the newly established office for LGBTIQ affairs to achieve these goals. These include promoting inclusive events, progressing legislative and administrative reforms and ensuring that ACT government services are appropriately targeted for the LGBTI community.

We will continue to increase the visibility and participation of LGBTIQ people across all areas of life in Canberra. We will make sure that LGBTIQ Canberrans feel safe on public transport, at work and as part of our community. This includes making sure that Canberra schools continue to be safe schools.

Government—land acquisition arrangements

MS LE COUTEUR: My question is to the Treasurer, and it relates to his approval of the LDA’s purchase of Winslade, a very large farm between Mount Stromlo and the Murrumbidgee River at Cotter. Treasurer, given the Auditor-General’s ongoing inquiry into this sort of land purchase, and given the estimates committee’s damning commentary on this sort of land purchase, what due diligence did you do to make sure it was a safe purchase?

MR BARR: The Land Development Agency undertook a business case. It provided that to treasury for assessment. Treasury made a recommendation to support the purchase. I agreed with that recommendation. Noting that the ACT government will need to acquire land, either for environmental offsets or for new residential development over the coming decades, that particular recommendation from the LDA and approved through a treasury business case process was, I believe, an appropriate form of scrutiny and assessment.

MS LE COUTEUR: The planning committee was told by a government official that it was “a strategic acquisition for the future growth potential of Canberra”. When will you be consulting the community about building suburbs all the way to Cotter?

MR BARR: As Ms Le Couteur would be aware, acquisition of that land does not mean that it will necessarily be suburban development. It could in fact be an environmental offset against other development elsewhere in the territory. As Ms Le Couteur would also be very well aware, that practice has been adopted by the territory over a significant period of time in order to support new suburban development in other areas, where areas of high conservation value have been protected as part of an environmental offset process required under national law as well as territory law. So strategic acquisition of land for environmental offset

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