The ACT Greens have welcomed the release of preliminary studies for development along the western edge of Canberra and are calling for a considered approach to increased supply of housing.
“The ACT Greens want to ensure all Canberrans have a roof over their heads. We also share the community’s love of Canberra as the bush capital and want to ensure that consideration of any new development prioritises the important ecological values of the area,” said Jo Clay MLA, ACT Greens Planning spokesperson.
“The ACT has the biggest houses and the smallest families in Australia. And despite having some of the lowest population densities of any city in the world, property developers keep pushing for greenfield land release. While this may seem like a simple solution to our housing crisis, we must be more considered about how we plan and build more homes for people.
“The western edge of Canberra contains a number of high value threatened ecological communities and protected species, particularly but not limited to places such as Bluetts Block. Development that would damage or risk these values is not acceptable. Environmental values in this area need to be protected.
“We know many in the community share our concerns about these environmental values, and share a love of this beautiful part of our bush capital.
“The ACT Greens want to protect our environment while increasing housing supply. We can and need to do this by increasing the population density of our existing urban footprint using high quality design. There's no need to destroy our precious environment to build new housing tracts.
“It's really important we put environmental protection front and centre. That means protecting areas of environmental significance and also understanding the deeper implications of development for connectivity, wildlife corridors and our changing climate.
“The recent IPCC report talks about the need to densify and limit urban sprawl. Urban planning is a critical climate and environmental matter and every investigation and decision counts.
“The ACT Greens are committed to homes for all. We are committed to sustainable development in the Territory in a way that protects existing environmental values. We need to think about the kind of Canberra we want to live in. Endless urban sprawl is no longer a good option. We need to draw a line.
“I welcome these studies, and welcome the more detailed environmental studies to come, including the Government's strategic assessment of the environmental values and hope that it includes consultation with the community.
“Environmental considerations need to be our first consideration, not our last,” said Jo Clay MLA.