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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 03 Hansard (Tuesday, 20 March 2018) . . Page.. 727 ..

MS BERRY: I will take that question on notice.

MR WALL: Minister, for what purpose does the directorate undertake student enrolment projection modelling if not to prepare reports and insights for government?

MS BERRY: Amongst other things, it is provided to provide insights to government on school capacity and for planning for new schools. To say that it does not is not true.

Housing—housing choices

MR PARTON: My question is to the Chief Minister. Chief Minister, on 20 February, on RiotACT, you foreshadowed the end of new suburbs in the ACT and said that we must accept high-rise dwellings as the dominant housing option. In contrast, the Winton report survey data in your minister’s housing choices paper demonstrates Canberrans’ overwhelming preference for separate dwellings and not multistorey units. Chief Minister, why are you sounding the end of opportunity for those aspiring to own a stand-alone house in Canberra by forcing them into 20-storey towers?

MR BARR: There are a number of sub-questions there. The first and most important point to make is that the assertions from Mr Parton are not correct. It is a statement of fact that the territory will run out of land. We are a defined area, and we have a limited amount of land available. The government clearly has—

Mr Coe: Everywhere in the world, in fact.

MR BARR: Indeed. It is not a problem just for the ACT, but it is perhaps more acute here, given the relative size of our jurisdiction.

The government does have three areas of greenfield land release that are underway, or will be: Molonglo, the balance of Gungahlin, and the Ginninderry development in west Belconnen. Beyond that, there are some further opportunities in the Molonglo Valley. But there will come a point where the city will not—

Mr Coe: When?

MR BARR: I do not know exactly when that point will be, but we certainly need to start having a conversation, don’t we, about that point. And we also, in my view, certainly need to put greater value on the bushland that surrounds our city and not just assume that every single bit of it will be built on. Part of that—

Mr Coe: Why do you keep buying it?

MR BARR: We keep buying it for environmental offset reasons under the EPBC Act, because when you develop one area you have to offset somewhere else. That is the reality of urban development in this city. A very simple point is that we need to continue our urban intensification process as well, because we do not want to build on every square inch of bushland surrounding our city.

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