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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2009 Week 7 Hansard (17 June) . . Page.. 2505..

MR STANHOPE (Ginninderra—Chief Minister, Minister for Transport, Minister for Territory and Municipal Services, Minister for Business and Economic Development, Minister for Indigenous Affairs and Minister for the Arts and Heritage) (5.06): The ACT government supports the Australian government's development of a national compact as a framework for guiding government and community sector relations. The ACT community and ACT government have been active participants in consultations on that compact. We bring our collective experience of implementing the ACT social compact which provides a framework for strengthening the relationship between the government and the community sector in the ACT.

I understand that, through the consultations on the national compact, there has been strong interest expressed across the Australian community in working to enhance the relationship with government and the community sector.

The ACT supports the Australian government in its aims to improve social inclusion in Australia, recognising the independence and value of the not-for-profit sector and improving communication between governments and the community sector.

The Legislative Assembly acknowledges the proactive approach that the Australian government has undertaken with its genuine engagement with the states and territories, which has been evident with the 2020 summit and the various forms of consultation that have followed on from this event. The continuous improvement of the consultation process is very high on the agenda of the ACT government.

The government supports a national compact which will be a lever for transparency and accountability. The government looks forward to participating in further consultation on a draft national compact. Our support for such an agreement was expressed by the Community and Disability Services Ministers Conference which was held a little earlier this year.

I understand that consultations have identified five priority areas which are to be considered by the Australian government in developing a national compact. These areas include: sector viability, including new models of funding, workforce development for staff retention, and regulatory reform; reducing red tape by simplifying accountability and reporting systems and applying this consistently across the commonwealth, state and territory governments; increasing cooperation and consistency across and between governments; increasing the inclusion of the people affected by policies in the work of the sector and the government; and supporting volunteering.

These priority areas are very much at the fore of the ACT government's philosophy and in guiding our work, particularly in relation to how we better support a sustainable community sector. For example, in the 2008-09 ACT budget we announced a commitment to implement a portable long service leave scheme for the community services sector. The scheme will support the community sector to retain a skilled workforce and foster a more sustainable community service sector here in the ACT.

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