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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 04 Hansard (Thursday, 25 March 2010) . . Page.. 1580 ..

As Greens we are very focused on policy outcomes. We are the sort of people who like to see results for the community and for Canberra in general. By chasing the government on a lot of seemingly small issues, we know that in fact we end up contributing towards improved community outcomes. One way we do this is through considerable engagement with the government consultation process. We attend consultations, we get briefings, we go to a lot of public consultations and, as we have talked about earlier, we contribute to a lot of these processes; for instance, the recent draft energy policy, the feed-in tariff and the government’s consultation on walking and cycling. I do not have a whole list in front of me but there are a lot of them.

It is very rewarding to be involved in program and policy development and that is one of the areas we are working hard on with respect to the Molonglo Valley. But there is also of course the disappointing side to the government consultations and that is where it goes to the heart of open, honest, transparent and accountable government.

Mr Coe mentioned in his speech, and I will just mention it again, the Green Square consultation. The second consultation with ACTPLA I do not think qualified as open, honest and accountable, because it seems abundantly clear that the decision on Green Square’s grass or otherwise had already been made, but the consultation that ACTPLA did did not acknowledge this and the people of Kingston thought that all cards were on the table when in fact they were not.

Ms Hunter has already discussed the ACAT amendments and the JACS bill, which we debated earlier and is another instance where there has been a bit of a disconnect between policy outcomes and the process. The Greens think this is a very important matter for all members of the Assembly and I thank Mr Coe for bringing it to the Assembly.

MR HANSON (Molonglo) (5.03): In the couple of minutes I have remaining I will lead off with a quote because I do not have time for a preamble:

Under Labor, the ACT Government and its agencies will restrict the use of commercial confidentiality to the narrowest possible application. Labor accepts that there are exceptional occasions when some commercial arrangements between Government and the private sector must remain confidential.

But the stress must be on ‘exceptional occasions.’

Labor won’t hide behind a cloak of confidentiality.

Let us put that into the context of what we have seen over the last 19 months of the Calvary fiasco, where deals were done behind closed doors in the lead-up to the election, where the government was not going to take this to the people. It was only when a leak was made to the Canberra Times that we found out about it, and we only found out about the revised deal, after the first one collapsed, through questioning here in the Assembly done by Mrs Dunne. I think it makes a mockery of this government’s preaching, when it was in opposition, about being open and accountable. The way it has behaved in government makes an absolute farce of what it preached to the electorate in the lead-up to the last election about being honest and accountable.

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