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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 10 Hansard (21 September) . . Page.. 4219..


that heritage. They should be separated from any discussions and developments which may or may not occur in nearby suburbs. I look forward to seeing the results of the full review and the government's response to the review of the Heritage Act.

Children and young people—consultation

Discussion of matter of public importance

MADAM ASSISTANT SPEAKER (Mrs Dunne): Mr Speaker has received letters from Ms Bresnan, Mr Coe, Mr Doszpot, Mrs Dunne, Mr Hanson, Ms Hunter, Ms Le Couteur, Ms Porter, Mr Seselja and Mr Smyth proposing that matters of public importance be submitted to the Assembly. In accordance with standing order 79, Mr Speaker has determined that the matter proposed by Ms Le Couteur be submitted to the Assembly, namely:

The importance of consulting with children and young people.

MS LE COUTEUR (Molonglo) (3.30): Across the world, there is work being done to ensure that the voices and ideas of children and young people are heard in the area of urban and social planning. This ranges from understanding the security needs of young people in shopping malls to getting a better insight into the types of play equipment children and young people find challenging and rewarding and to the design and impact of urban density and infill. When we get it right, we allow everybody, including children and young people, the right to have space and a place within our community.

Imagine being a child or a young person and negotiating a world that says you should be seen but not heard. Those days are supposed to be long gone for children and young people, yet we still find that many parts of our community do not value or respect the contribution children and young people have to make and the fact that they are an integral part of our society.

Creating cities that are friendly and inviting for children and young people involves a complex set of challenges and issues that cross sectoral and policy boundaries. This level of inclusiveness should not be regarded as a narrow professional or policy speciality but as a goal that demands integrated cross-sectoral and, in our case, whole-of-government responses. Cross-sectoral collaboration should involve the NGO sector, researchers, communities, business and industry and various levels of government.

There is a need to initiate more concentrated focus on the importance and wellbeing of children and young people in urban areas. There has been too little attention on children's needs in urban policy and too little work on understanding how the built environment shapes children's wellbeing.

The key dimensions and measures for child and youth-friendly communities need to be documented. Responsibility for assessing and improving practices can only be sharpened when there is greater clarity of the objectives and the way we measure our efforts. Key issues certainly vary between cities, rural towns and remote communities. They also differ within large suburban areas; for example between outer, middle and


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