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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 11 Hansard (Thursday, 25 October 2018) . . Page.. 4237 ..

species research by the ANU Fenner School; a living infrastructure study by the Tait Network; and environmental economic accounting by the CSIRO. As these reports are completed they will become publicly available as reference documents.

Through our work with the CSIRO we are improving our understanding of the value that living infrastructure provides to Canberra. It is not just the shading and cooling effects from living infrastructure that are important but also the many environmental services living infrastructure provides, such as cleaning our air and water and providing areas of respite in hot weather. Understanding these services reminds us that enhancing our urban forest is an investment in our city’s future.

As committed to in the motion last year, the government will also review the Tree Protection Act as part of this broader process. The intention is that amendments to the act will support the implementation of and align with the objectives of the living infrastructure plan.

The motion also called for a review of the Territory Plan and infrastructure design standards, and I am pleased to report that the government has made significant progress in this respect in 2018. Minister Gentleman has been leading a refresh of the ACT planning strategy, and in September 2018 the Environment, Planning and Sustainable Development Directorate completed a significant community engagement process on this refresh.

During consultation the directorate hosted more than 90 people in workshops, 50 people in planning in the pub sessions and more than 500 in the speaker series, which was live streamed on Facebook. The feedback received from the community will be considered in the development of a new planning strategy for Canberra. Good progress is also being made on revising the infrastructure design standards as part of this broader picture of work.

The government is committed to protecting and enhancing the urban forest in our bush capital, and I look forward to reporting further on this matter next year, in line with the motion. I present a copy of the statement:

Canberra’s tree canopy coverage—To protect and increase—Ministerial statement, 25 October 2018.

I move:

That the Assembly take note of the paper.

MS LE COUTEUR (Murrumbidgee) (10.45): I am very happy to hear about progress in the response to my private members’ business motion of October last year. Trees are important, and the Greens have always stood up for trees in Canberra. We know that the people of Canberra highly value their trees. We had a survey on what should be the slogan on our numberplates, and it is “The Bush Capital”. The people of Canberra love our trees.

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