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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 02 Hansard (Wednesday, 18 February 2015) . . Page.. 525 ..


Measuring the progress of societies continues to be one of the key priorities of the OECD. Focusing on people’s well-being and societal progress requires looking not only at the functioning of the economic system but also at the diverse experiences and living conditions of people and households.

That is a quote from Angel Gurria, Secretary-General of the OECD. Obviously, shifting the focus to the wellbeing of people offers policymakers a different perspective of what policies work and what policies can empower a community to act to achieve higher wellbeing for its citizens.

As members in this Assembly well know, the place you choose to live—sometimes you have not much choice in that—will have an impact on your quality of life. This Liberal Party ideology of indiscriminate slash and burn totally ignores the human factor and what effect this has on the wellbeing of people. It is undermining the progress that this ACT government has made over many years.

As I started by saying, the ACT is a great place to live and work. Organisations such as Karralika and Canberra City Care are now under threat from this federal Liberal government’s cuts. But not only are those organisations under threat; it is also the livelihood of all the people that they work with, provide services to and that will contact them in the future that is threatened. Their livelihoods are under threat because these organisations have contributed greatly towards supporting vulnerable people and families challenged by adversity. They have delivered positive social impacts for all Canberrans.

Canberra offers many opportunities for those who live here. This Labor government is committed to continuing to strengthen our relationship with the community sector to ensure that all Canberrans can take full advantage of these opportunities. Having worked for many years in the community sector, I know firsthand what impact funding cuts and funding uncertainty have on forward planning.

I did experience this when I was the CEO of Volunteering ACT and worked on the board of Volunteering Australia, when the then Liberal federal government was threatening to slash money in the community sector. Of course, it has an impact on forward planning and staff retention on the one hand and, on the other hand, on the wellbeing of those accessing the services, as the Chief Minister referred to in an earlier debate today.

I therefore thank the ACT government for their continued advocacy to the federal government in this regard, as Ms Berry mentioned in the earlier debate on homelessness. She has written a letter to Minister Morrison. I am aware that this government is continuing to lobby, and to encourage our colleagues across states and territories to lobby, the federal government about its decisions. I encourage them to continue to do so. I commend this motion to the house.

MS LAWDER (Brindabella) (5.23): I am pleased to rise today to talk about the importance of local community services in the ACT and have this opportunity to talk about the pivotal role of local community services and the difference they make in the


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