Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 07 Hansard (Tuesday, 29 June 2010) . . Page.. 2742 ..
Many government strategies have been through exhaustive community consultation processes and already have the right balance of addressing environmental, social and economic needs. Thus, when agencies report against strategic indicators which relate to these reports, it will be clearer whether or not we need to put more resources into various areas in the following budget year.
I do not believe that this year’s budget indicators truly capture the key facets of all of our key government strategies, but I think that this is a work in progress, which we can and I am sure will visit again next year. In the meanwhile, I look forward to the next edition of Measuring our progress, the progress report on people, place prosperity, which I hope we will see in the next couple of weeks.
Another very important part of this process of moving the government towards triple-bottom-line analysis overall is to establish an evaluation process for new policies and programs, to undertake both climate change impact and poverty impact analysis. The evaluation processes and tools are not available for these as yet, but the Greens will continue to raise this issue until they are and until they are applied.
These processes are also key to evaluating what new infrastructure we need, and when we need it. I believe that we are not truly planning for our future needs when we are not thinking about how our investments will hold up for a zero emissions territory. Towns around the world are becoming transition towns or zero emission towns or neighbourhoods. We as a territory need to be making those sorts of steps too. We want to become a transition territory with a transition town in it.
I note the items funded through COAG that were raised through the estimates process. I have to express my concern at this stage at the growing list of funds which the commonwealth government now owes the ACT and does not appear to be paying. This list includes the land on Constitution Avenue, the money owing for the Olympic torch relay many years ago and, especially because it has not yet occurred, decent funding from the federal government to help Canberra celebrate its centenary as a national capital. I hope that now we have a new Prime Minister, we may have some movement on that front. I hope that up at the house on the hill, they may be a little focused on the federal elections for the next little while.
I note the general level of satisfaction expressed in the estimates hearing regarding community engagement improvements, especially regarding the community noticeboard. I see similar pages in newspapers in other cities around the place and in the consolidated format of information, events and consultation, which makes sense. It makes it clearer that it is government-related information.
Consultation will, I am sure, continue to be an area where there is considerable community interest and concern. As Greens planning spokesperson, I have been to many consultations and community groups. Almost always there are complaints. People feel they do not hear about the consultation in time or that the government has already made up its mind. I am aware that it is hard and it is possibly impossible to have people who have lost an argument feel that the consultation process was right. But this is an area where the government must continue work with the aim of improving.