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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 09 Hansard (Wednesday, 12 August 2015) . . Page.. 2731 ..


the report ranks different postcodes and for us in the ACT it points particularly to west Belconnen and parts of Tuggeranong. It is a high level analysis.

What we have done since the release is look at the report against more detailed local information here in the ACT. What emerges is that the reforms the government is progressing under the better services initiative are responding directly to the needs of our community. This is particularly the case through the west Belconnen local services network, which is a truly innovative project which for the first time is putting our community at the heart of the service system.

The local services network is the better services initiative which specifically aims to address disadvantage experienced by people living in a particular area. It builds services and supports around their needs, and the network is bringing together the collective expertise of local service providers, including businesses and community leaders who will work together in the way that services are being delivered and tailor them to specific local needs.

It capitalises on the very strong leadership in the community, and I thank the members of our network leadership group which include UnitingCare Kippax, Belconnen Community Service, Red Cross and Inanna Inc. They have been putting their hands up to say, “Here’s how we provide our range of services. We do it better by designing a system together, and the end result will be better for local people.”

Central to this is the need for anyone who comes in contact with the service system to find the support that suits them and not have to shop around for different services. The network offers a better wraparound service for people whose needs can be diverse and complex.

Crucially, as we progress and evaluate the local service model we can look at applying it elsewhere. For example, Ms Lawder mentioned this morning that Chisholm is identified in the Dropping off the edge report and it may well benefit from a similar response to that being applied in west Belconnen. Every community has its leaders and local champions and this model has the potential to tap into these assets across the territory.

Already at this early stage the model is attracting interest from elsewhere in Australia, most recently from Tasmania. It is a testament to our community leaders that we can lead a reform of this nature.

MADAM SPEAKER: Supplementary question, Ms Fitzharris.

MS FITZHARRIS: Minister, how is the local services network being established in a way that ensures community needs and priorities are front and centre?

MS BERRY: As I said the local services network model is different in that it has brought local service providers into the tent from the beginning. At the same time an extensive community engagement process was undertaken to better understand the issues and needs of people in that community. We gathered input through surveys, focus groups, neighbourhood forums and roving storyboards which sought to capture


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