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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 03 Hansard (Tuesday, 20 March 2018) . . Page.. 669 ..


clear, the government intend to engage through a variety of different means with as many people as we can. That is common sense and that is the approach that we will take.

To communicate effectively, you need to engage in a variety of different mediums. Mr Parton would be aware of that, given his business before entering this place, after leaving his role in the traditional media to work in that other communications area. This is hardly novel. As the media sector changes, governments across the world are changing the way they engage with their communities.

In the 2016 election I promised more representative consultation with the Canberra community. That is the process that we are implementing. We have already put forward, and we are in the middle of implementing, a series of quite innovative engagement strategies. We have, I openly confess, a goal to engage hard-to-reach audiences, to include them in our democratic process, thus ensuring that in the long term demographically representative engagement becomes standard practice for this place. We want to embrace new technologies and more direct ways of communicating with our community.

There is a lesson out of the last week or so. It is very clear that communications that are concise, that are engaging and that are delivered through the most appropriate channels will reach intended audiences. The government respects the role of the mainstream media and of journalists in both reporting on and providing analysis of government policy. I am not seeking to subvert that role.

I will make further observations on this question. I think it would be helpful for all consumers in the media market for a very clear distinction to be drawn between news and opinion and that they be clearly labelled as such. They should be clearly labelled as such when presented to the community. Most media outlets do that, and do that very effectively. Where a piece is an opinion piece, it is acknowledged as that. That is entirely appropriate.

We will continue to look for new ways to engage with Canberrans, from our government newsletter to delivering democratic examples like citizens juries and the new online community panel to engage in various social media platforms. It is also important through this process that we be clear about what is up for debate. We will be clear when we are sharing information to keep Canberrans up to date on new or changed services that happen as a result of community feedback.

Since launching the whole-of-government communications and engagements strategy last month, we have received feedback via the your say website and a series of face-to-face meetings on how best to turn this strategy and intent into reality. We know that Canberrans want a city that is inclusive, a city that is innovative, active and fun to live in. Shaping our growing city to make sure that all Canberrans are heard, and not just those with the loudest voices, is, I believe, vital to maintaining our city’s livability into the future.

I apologise again for the comments that I have made. I regret using the word “hate” and I am sorry. After today, my career as a media commentator whilst holding public


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