Page 510 - Week 02 - Wednesday, 23 March 2022

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Legislation—draft planning bill

MR DAVIS: My question is to the minister for planning, and it relates to the new planning act ongoing consultations. Minister, I am interested in learning how specifically we are consulting with diverse stakeholders such as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and multicultural groups, and making sure those consultations are accessible.

MR GENTLEMAN: I thank Mr Davis for the question. He raises an important issue. As I said yesterday, the draft bill recognises the role of traditional knowledge and culture of the Ngunnawal people when we are planning for new communities. This language in the bill came from Ngunnawal people themselves during consultation. We have worked closely with various local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander groups in developing the legislation, and we will continue to consult with them.

The ACT government is working with leaders of various community groups on the best way to consult with their membership. In terms of bringing the community together and having that back and forth consultation that Ms Clay asked about yesterday, this will be critically important during the development of district strategies. This work will involve bringing a diverse range of our community together so that they can share their experiences and hear from each other to develop a strategy for each of Canberra’s eight districts.

The greater the diversity of these groups, the better it will be for our strategic planning. The groups that can be the hardest to reach are our young people, and women who have young children as well. There are also the groups that have the most at stake in terms of what kind of city Canberra will be into the future. We are particularly keen to hear from them.

In terms of our multicultural communities, officials are working with their colleagues across government to promote the planning bill through the Multicultural Advisory Council networks.

MR DAVIS: Minister, related to the fact sheets on the website, are there plans to translate these into different languages? If so, what languages?

MR GENTLEMAN: The ACT government will work with the Multicultural Advisory Council, as I just said, on how best to engage with the multicultural community on the bill. In that way the community can let us know what works best for them. We will be developing text for community groups to use in their own publications, to encourage people to have their say on the draft bill, including multicultural groups.

One benefit of our local multicultural communities is that they tend to be well organised, and we can reach out to these groups through community leaders, which is where we will focus our consultation on the bill. Ensuring that we have information that is relevant to a range of different audiences, of course, is important, and we will be using a range of social media and other channels to promote consultation on the bill during the three-month consultation period.

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