Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 4 Hansard (22 June) . . Page.. 1079..
MR WHITECROSS: Report No. 6 of 1995 contains the committee's comments on one Bill. I commend the report to the Assembly.
MS TUCKER (11.54): Mr Speaker, I present Report No. 1 of the Standing Committee on Social Policy, entitled "Social Policy Issues Raised by Community Groups, April 1995", together with extracts from the minutes of proceedings. I move:
That the report be noted.
It is with pleasure that I present this first report of the Standing Committee on Social Policy, entitled "Social Policy Issues Raised by Community Groups, April 1995". The committee chose to invite submissions from community groups, as well as to receive briefings from government departments, as the first activity, in order to gain an understanding of the current issues and needs of the residents of the ACT. We asked community organisations to brief the committee on the key social problems, major gaps in services, any duplications or inefficiencies, emerging needs and effective methods of consultation. The government departments were asked to brief the committee on similar issues and on the processes and outcomes of consultation. It was very informative. On behalf of all members of the committee, I would like to thank all the people who gave their time and energy in providing briefings and written submissions.
The important work being done by community groups in the ACT is not given the recognition or support it deserves. If our government agencies were to take over the responsibilities of these groups, the economic costs would be great and the social benefit would probably be impossible to duplicate. This is because these groups have grown out of community need and are therefore nearly always appropriate and relevant. Obviously, over the course of time, some groups may become less relevant or appropriate and may therefore not warrant government support. What is essential is that clear and transparent processes exist within the Government so that non-government groups do not feel powerless in decisions that affect them and the people to whom they provide services.