The ACT government will begin the process to have Canberra internationally recognised as a national park city, with a charter enshrining the rights of residents to access and enjoy the natural environment.
Labor backbencher Dr Marisa Paterson moved the motion, which was supported by the government and not opposed by the Liberal opposition.
Dr Paterson said the declaration would not require legislation or more onerous planning controls, but would generate international interest in Canberra's environmental credentials.
"I think we've got really great tourism objectives at the moment, and really great climate policy and establishing the ACT as a national park city would just cement all that," Dr Paterson told The Canberra Times earlier this week.
Liberal member for Yerrabi Leanne Castley said the motion showed Labor and the Greens were out of touch, and sought to separate Canberra's identity from its role as the national capital.
Ms Castley took issue with Dr Paterson's suggestion Canberra needed to "divorce" itself from the image of Parliament House.
"To suggest that Canberra needs to divorce from Parliament House is concerning and shows a complete lack of respect for the system of parliamentary democracy that we cherish," Ms Castley said.
"The government's desire to revisit how our national capital is portrayed is disappointing. ... The Labor-Greens statement about divorcing parliament house appears as a slur on the tens of thousands of hard-working federal public servants."
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The National Park City Foundation, established in 2017, is working to develop a universal charter for recognised cities. London is so far the only recognised city.
"A National Park City is a place, a vision and a community. It is a city that is cared for through both formal and informal means to enhance its living landscape," the foundation's working definition says.
"A defining feature is the widespread and significant commitment of residents, visitors and decision-makers to act so people, culture and natural processes provide a foundation for better life."
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