Page 2130 - Week 07 - Thursday, 29 June 2023

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We have talked about this regarding play spaces. We know that play spaces can often play a role in enhancing local shops. We have seen that take place at a range of different shops in Canberra. Chifley, for example, I think has provided a very good model where have drawn people in and reinvigorated the shops. We are looking to do that at a range of other shopping centres, as we undertake upgrades there.

Some of the local shopping centres in Canberra often have been vacant. The ACT government has still undertaken upgrades there because it is a little bit of chicken and egg: when you get public realm upgrades, it often attracts businesses back into the centre so that they can become thriving local community hubs.

We undertake the upgrades based on the condition of the assets. Many of those shops are aging, and it is often the shops that are aging where those infrastructure upgrades will be focused. As well as getting community feedback about safety concerns and other issues, it is often about adding extra elements to shopping centres.

We have heard, certainly, at a number of shopping centres about the need to have toilets, so we have been trying to address those issues as well, to make sure that they remain thriving community hubs. But each one of them is different; each one of them has different businesses. Some of them, as we have discussed in Monash’s case, may not even have a shop. It may be a different service that is offered there, compared to other shops. We want to support local communities, and those uses will change over time as well.

Government—human resources and information management system

MR CAIN: My question is to the Special Minister of State. Minister, among the 23 contractors engaged at a cost of $44½ million to deliver the HRIMS project was one who provided “provision of change and communication services for the HRIMS program”. That contractor was paid a total of $320,000, including a variation—an increase of $121,000 for six months work. Why were such extensive changes in communication services needed for an IT project that was not even complete?

MR STEEL: I thank Mr Cain for his question. As I said earlier in question time, this was not just a technology project; it was a project that was focused on people, on process and on technology. Unfortunately, during the pandemic, there was a very significant challenge in being able to engage with officials across directorates who were contributing to this project when their priorities were elsewhere in supporting the ACT government’s response to the public health emergency.

What we are talking about here is a very significant number of business processes, which was perhaps underestimated at the beginning of the project, across 18 different enterprise agreements and 14 different platforms and trying to translate that into a single, integrated system.

When there were difficulties with engaging with the necessary officials during the pandemic, that made it a very difficult process. There were also governance issues which compounded the problem in being able to get the project level decisions made on some of those business processes and what needed to change in order to translate them into the new HRIMS.

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