Dr Marisa Paterson MLA: I give notice that I shall move - That this Assembly:

1. Notes that:

    1. Canberra was recently named the world’s most sustainable city;
    2. Accolades such as this are the result of policy decisions made by the ACT Government, together with important contributions from the business and not-for-profit sectors, and from individuals and other groups within our community;
    3. Over the past decade, there has been a significant change to Canberra’s brand, image and identity with an improved sense of pride;
    4. The exponential growth in tourism, with visitor expenditure growing from $1.3b in December 2009 to $2.8b in December 2019, combined with being ranked third by Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel in 2018, are testament to this;
    5. Despite this, national and international media and other outlets sometimes portray Canberra as being nothing more than the seat of federal politics;
    6. The ACT Government’s ‘Brand CBR’ and ‘More Than’ campaigns position the city prominently and positively within the local and national psyche;
    7. Canberra is currently facing a skills shortage and needs to compete with many other cities across Australia to attract people;
    8. There is opportunity to leverage additional strategies to continue to develop Canberra’s reputation as a progressive, sustainable and contemporary city, offering a great quality of life, such as the global National Park City status;
    9. The ‘National Park City Foundation’ has been established to recognise those cities in which government, business and community work together for improved relationships between people and nature;
    10. National Park Cities:
      1. have a vision and framework, developed through collaboration between city partners – government, organisations, businesses, groups and communities;
      2. do not require a fee for application;
      3. sit outside of legislation and do not impose any levels of planning restriction, approval processes or bureaucracy;
      4. encourage reporting by the city to the National Park City Foundation to track progress;
      5. provide international recognition and celebration of initiatives and projects underway, and of the city’s future aspiration;
    11. To date, London is the only city to be declared a National Park City;
    12. Adelaide has commenced the process to become recognised as a National Park City; and
    13. Canberra possesses the requisite qualities to become a National Park City.


2. Calls on the ACT Government to:

    1. Explore whether there is benefit for Canberra to apply to become a National Park City through:
      1. Dialogue with the National Park City Foundation;
      2. Community consultation to identify the level of support from organisations, business and the community;
    2. Continue to undertake important branding to position Canberra as ‘more than’ meets the eye to attract people to visit, study, work, do business and live; and
    3. Continue to engage with, and provide content to, local and national media outlets; enabling them to portray Canberra’s unique identity and characteristics as a great place to visit, study, play, work, do business and live.


Dr Marisa Paterson MLA

3 June 2021


image credit: Daniel Morton, unsplash