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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 01 Hansard (Wednesday, 14 February 2018) . . Page.. 149 ..

Canberra is thriving. I know I say this all the time, but it is true. We are set to see significant population growth over the coming years. We are investing heavily in our health system now, to make sure that we can continue to deliver the highest quality health care for Canberrans. We are getting ahead. We are upgrading and improving our existing infrastructure. We are building new, cutting-edge facilities to provide more specialised treatment options. We are investing in pioneering research to bring the future of medicine to our city. And we are investing in our health workforce to make sure we have the numbers to properly serve the Canberra community and to provide exciting opportunities for staff to spearhead medical advancements.

There is so much activity underway throughout the whole ACT to meet and serve the health and wellbeing needs of Canberrans now and into the future. There have been significant achievements to date, and I think it is pretty clear from my speech that we have much more to look forward to.

Debate interrupted in accordance with standing order 74 and the resumption of the debate made an order of the day for a later hour.

Sitting suspended from 12.28 to 2.30 pm.

Questions without notice

Planning—housing choices

MR COE: My question is to the Minister for Planning and Land Management. Minister, in your discussion paper on housing choices, you have asserted that Canberrans can no longer aspire to a suburban block and implied that Canberrans are now embracing a compact Canberra and a multi-unit high density residential lifestyle. Minister, why are you ignoring your own survey which said that 91 per cent of residents clearly want to move into a dwelling on its own block?

MR GENTLEMAN: I thank Mr Coe for his question. The housing choices discussion paper is a very important step in looking at the way Canberra can move to being a more compact city with more focus on what future Canberrans want to live in. It is important that we have this discussion with the Canberra community.

In regard to the detailed question Mr Coe asked about the survey, the survey was responded to with comments from the public saying that they wanted change for residential zones in the ACT. It is important that we take that back to the community and talk to the community through the housing discussion paper, particularly in the collaborative way we can do that through the collaborative hub and the discussions that we have had with community councils, for example.

MR COE: Minister, why are you overriding people’s residential preferences by saying that most Canberrans want to live in high density blocks when it is clearly not the case in your own survey?

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