ACT Planning Bill must prioritise Canberra’s most vulnerable

23 November 2022

The ACT Council of Social Service (ACTCOSS) said today that the ACT Government must make stronger commitments to social and affordable housing, consultation with marginalised communities and delivering community infrastructure and amenities in its planning reform.

In its submission to the ACT Legislative Assembly’s Inquiry into the Planning Bill 2022, ACTCOSS called on the ACT Government to strengthen the Bill to ensure:

  • A supply of social and affordable housing within the ACT amidst a worsening housing and homelessness crisis including minimum targets and rezoning
  • Social planning principles are incorporated into land release policies and development decisions so we deliver liveable and inclusive suburbs
  • Appropriate amenity, community infrastructure and local commerce is available for new and existing residents
  • Proactive and genuine consultation occurs with those who are most affected by planning. This includes people with disability, young people, Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people, women, and groups representing low-income and marginalised Canberrans.

ACTCOSS CEO, Dr Emma Campbell said: “Planning is at the core of achieving an inclusive and accessible Canberra for all.

“While some aspects of the draft bill respond to ACTCOSS’s earlier submissions, we need a stronger commitment in the ACT’s planning laws to prioritise people on low incomes, those experiencing homelessness, Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people, people with disabilities, young people and other people experiencing disadvantage.

“We urge the ACT Government to make further amendments to the Bill to ensure the city’s future development and planning deliver a Canberra that is inclusive of all Canberrans and contributes to more affordable and social housing supply within the Territory,” Dr Campbell concluded.

To find out more about the Planning Bill, visit the ACT Government’s Legislation Register.

ACTCOSS advocates for social justice in the ACT and represents not-for-profit community organisations. Follow us @ACTCOSS on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

For more information or comment, please contact

Dr Emma Campbell, CEO, ACTCOSS, on 0424 910 617 or 02 6202 7200.

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