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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2009 Week 10 Hansard (25 August) . . Page.. 3606..


Mr Seselja: He doesn't control them at all.

MR SMYTH: That is true. I am sure the Chief Minister now consults with Mr Barr to make sure that everything is okay. Because the question is: what would Andrew do?

The report goes on to say that there was a lack of satisfaction with particular community consultation processes, including the closure of the Griffith library—Mr Hargreaves—school closures—Mr Barr—changes to the territory plan that facilitated multi-occupancy developments—Mr Barr—and revised ACTION timetables—Mr Hargreaves. So it looks like the right has the motza on community consultation here, but the question is: what will the Chief Minister do? Because if you try and find the community consultation protocols on the website, you cannot find them. They should be on the TAMS website. I am sure the minister responsible will tell us where they are when he stands up! I am sure he could not even find them.

The suggestions for improvement were quite clear: accompanying all major policy or planning proposals with a communication strategy with clear milestones—"Tell us what is going to happen."Develop a clear feedback process—"Tell us that we've been listened to."Develop measurable outcomes—"Tell us you've implemented what we asked."That is truly citizen-centred governance, but it is not what they are going to get from Jon Stanhope's Labor government.

I think the emphasis of the feedback of the community's experience with this consultation is simply that the government does not listen. Having had the sham of this consultation in the lead-up to the last election, what we see after it is a continuing process of ignoring the community, ignoring common courtesy, and just doing what we want. Again, it goes back to Mr Hargreaves's comment today when he said about the fringe festival, "I could have given some thought."Well, yes, you could have given some thought.

Now, of course, that is only part of the story in the document where it talks about Griffith and school closures and ACTION. We go on to the fact that this lack of consultation has so often cost the public so much money or reduced services or produced a poor outcome. You only have to look at Tharwa bridge. The Tharwa bridge episode is just disgraceful. Remember that we were told there was no timber. Remember we were told that it could not be fixed. Remember we were told that we had to build a new bridge. Remember the community were given the option of take it or leave it, and remember the disgraceful road closure that had that enormous diversion which, at one stage, even took a life, and $4.9 million. Now it will cost tens of millions of dollars because of poor consultation. (Time expired.)

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) (4.08): It was John Keynes who immortalised the virtues of mental agility and flexibility when he said, "When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do?"This morning we have witnessed the mental atrophy of an opposition that went to the last election bleating about costs of public consultation, lost the last election bleating about—and


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