Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 2 Hansard (11 May) . . Page.. 454..
MRS CARNELL (continuing):
all at night. We have already announced that we would like community councils to be able to address the Assembly directly at regular intervals so that they can tell us exactly what they are thinking. We think that is an appropriate approach and something that will make sure that this Assembly is better informed about what the community is actually thinking.
There are a number of ways in which we can make sure that the community councils are representative of their communities, and we are currently discussing those with the community councils themselves. There is everything from using a precinct approach to having half of the community council elected and half come from a ballot-type form on which people in the various areas can indicate that they would like to be part of a community council. One of the ideas that we have already floated is having on rate notices a little box saying, "Would you like to be on your community council? Please tick the box". There are a number of options available. We will obviously determine which ones are appropriate by talking to the community councils themselves and to the community generally.
MS TUCKER: I ask a supplementary question. How does the Government propose to resolve conflicting demands within the community and the Government's own policy direction?
MRS CARNELL: Obviously, there will always be conflicting demands on governments, no matter who they are and no matter what they represent. The whole point of community consultation is to make sure that this Assembly is aware of what the community think. Our view on community councils is that they are there at the grassroots level. They have grown from the grassroots up. Therefore, they are a very important part of community consultation and our knowing what communities think; but they are not the only one, by any stretch of the imagination. We believe that community councils need to have a more solid base from which to work. The absolute answer to your question is that obviously the real issue is to make sure that this Assembly knows what the community is thinking.
MR WHITECROSS: My question is addressed to Mr De Domenico in his capacity as Minister for Urban Services. Mr De Domenico, what community service obligations does the Government intend to impose on ACTEW as part of its corporatisation proposal?
MR DE DOMENICO: I thank Mr Whitecross for his question. Mr Whitecross would be aware that the corporatisation of ACTEW will mean that ACTEW itself will be in a better position to provide a better service to the people of the ACT. I will go as far as suggesting, as I have suggested to ACTEW, that they should take into account a community contract-type scenario. ACTEW will take that on board, and I think that when the time comes for ACTEW to be corporatised, as it will, you will find that the community service aspects of ACTEW will improve. This Assembly will make sure that that is transparent.