ACT Greens deliver more affordable housing, improved environmental sustainability and better governance for all Canberrans: LDA split bill

The Greens will put forth amendments to the bill today and offer our support to a range of important community-first amendments, delivering better outcomes for Canberra and its ongoing planning and development. This includes the Greens’ amendments that will see both the City Renewal Authority (CRA) and Suburban Land Agency (SLA) required to realise affordable, public and community housing targets, improve environmentally sustainable practice, and deliver better governance in line with our community expectations and election commitments.

Affordable housing for Canberrans

“In a city as affluent as Canberra, we have a responsibility to ensure that low income earners and those experiencing housing stress can find affordable, sustainable and secure tenancies, and that we offer real assistance to first home buyers trying to enter the housing market,” said ACT Greens MLA and Member for Murrumbidgee Caroline Le Couteur.

“Today the Greens will propose amendments that require the government to set affordable, public and community housing targets that these new bodies will be required to meet.

In line with commitments secured by the Greens in the Parliamentary Agreement, these concrete targets will help Canberrans to secure affordable housing, community-owned housing and public housing stock as part of any new major residential development of land. To ensure that we are tackling housing stress in our community, the Greens will today also ensure that the work of these two new agencies aligns with the Affordable Housing Strategy  that will be developed as a Greens requirement as part of the Parliamentary Agreement.”

Good governance – in step with our community

“A commitment to good governance means a commitment not only to extensive community consultation, but to rigorous and practicable measures that will improve the integrity of these agencies, particularly given that we’ve consistently sought to hold the Land Development Agency (LDA) to account for its highly questionable actions,” said Ms Le Couteur.

“We know that our community’s perception was that the LDA was driven by financial interests, rather than the interests of our community. That’s why the Greens today will put forward amendments to remove the Bill’s focus on commercial returns and instead ensure that these agencies deliver cost-effective outcomes with clear community benefits.”

An environmentally sustainable Territory

“In a warming climate, there’s no question that the Greens want to see these new agencies deliver best practice sustainable development, not just money to the Government,” Ms Le Couteur said.

“This bill provides an opportunity to ensure that urban planning and development in the ACT is based on ecologically sustainable development principles. Today the Greens are pleased that the government will take up our amendments to ensure these new bodies realise the Territory’s progressive statutory greenhouse gas emissions targets, and guarantee environmentally sustainable development into the future.”

“Today we heard from the Canberra Liberals spin to the contrary, but the facts are clear,” Ms Le Couteur said. How the government develops land is very important.  That is why I am disappointed that the Canberra Liberals have publically stated that they intend to vote against this bill.  I call upon them to work constructively and help clear up the problems of the LDA and ensure that the new agencies better serve the people of Canberra.”