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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 02 Hansard (Tuesday, 20 February 2018) . . Page.. 417 ..

Past community involvement in restoration activities in the catchment has made a significant contribution to the success of revegetation, and I thank the many people and organisations who have contributed their time to assist with the important work in restoring the catchment. The ACT government is committed to supporting continued community involvement in the restoration and stewardship of the lower Cotter catchment.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Youth engagement

Discussion of matter of public importance

MADAM ASSISTANT SPEAKER (Ms Lee): Madam Speaker has received letters from Miss C Burch, Ms Cheyne, Ms Cody, Mr Coe, Mrs Dunne, Mrs Kikkert, Ms Lawder, Ms Le Couteur, Ms Lee, Ms Orr, Mr Parton, Mr Pettersson, Mr Steel and Mr Wall proposing that matters of public importance be submitted to the Assembly for discussion. In accordance with standing order 79, Madam Speaker has determined that the matter proposed by Mr Steel be submitted to the Assembly, namely:

The importance of broad engagement with the ACT community, particularly innovative measures to engage with younger Canberrans.

MR STEEL (Murrumbidgee) (3.58): I am very pleased to speak about the importance of broad engagement with the ACT community, particularly measures to engage with younger Canberrans. As a government member, I have been making myself as accessible as possible to the community through regular street stalls, on social media, by meeting with community groups, participating in forums and engaging in a whole range of other ways. As our government plans for where Canberrans will live, the hospitals and schools they will need, how they will move around our city and how we adapt to climate change, it is important that Canberrans have their say on the future of our city.

Election time is an important time for the community to have their say on the future direction of government policy, but we must also continually engage between elections as we implement our policies. To ensure that the community’s voice is properly reflected, this engagement must be broad. Our government is committed to strengthening our community engagement practices to deliver better, more representative consultation. I was very pleased that, as part of last week’s budget review, our government will be funding a new community panel which will improve the process of prioritising government issues, thus helping to make contributing to policy development in the ACT easier for all residents and ensuring that the government’s consultations are representative of Canberra as a whole.

The panel will give Canberrans, including young people and working people who perhaps would not have otherwise had their say through more traditional methods, a say on issues that matter to them. Just because many people are too busy to directly engage with an engagement process, are put off by the conflict therein or are simply relaxed about what is being proposed, their opinion still counts and the government

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