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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 10 Hansard (Tuesday, 18 September 2018) . . Page.. 3684 ..


like to put on the record my thanks to Minister Fitzharris and members of the Canberra community for helping to deliver this critical piece of work.

The better suburbs program was launched on 19 September 2017 and funding was provided in the 2017-18 budget to deliver this program over a two-year period. Phase 1 of the consultation consisted of feedback on city services provision through the your say website from 15 September 2017 through to 15 November 2017. This phase included a survey, a discussion forum and a stakeholder call for evidence.

Consultation was undertaken through many different mediums: through social and traditional media, through posters in community areas and through postcards in people’s letterboxes. In addition, direct consultation was held through pop-up stalls, through roving event visits and via direct emails to over 450 stakeholder groups. Consulting widely and providing different ways to give feedback ensure that many people in our community are able to have their say. At the close of this consultation phase, over 155 pieces of feedback and 1,242 survey responses were provided.

The second phase of the consultation consisted of kitchen table discussions. These conversations preceded the citizens forum and were self-hosted by small groups in the community. The aim was to commence the deliberative stage of engagement and offer deeper feedback from the wider community to be shared at the better suburbs citizens forum to inform their decision-making.

The final phase of consultations was the better suburbs citizens forum itself, which was held over five days in July and August 2018. The better suburbs statement was developed at the forum and sets a future vision for improved delivery of city services in the ACT, and includes priorities for reform that will lead to service standard improvements. The content of the statement has been developed by the 54 community members who formed the citizens forum. It has been a really worthwhile trial.

MS ORR: What were some of the key outcomes of this process, and how will it be implemented?

MR STEEL: I am pleased to say that the citizens forum has achieved our goal of outlining the priorities for city services and identifying ways to provide more services for Canberrans. The process has paved the way forward for a vibrant, beautiful and livable Canberra, with a vision for our city for 2030.

A common theme of this 2030 vision is connectivity: better connected services to the community, as well as a community that is better connected to government and decision-making, and providing a focus on the services that matter to Canberrans. The forum provided a vision in relation to lakes, ponds and wetlands, and the stormwater system and water quality; street and park trees; household waste and recycling; public spaces waste and recycling; roads; public spaces, parks and open spaces, including mowing; library services; footpaths, verges and nature strips; graffiti and community engagement; streetlights; play spaces; responsible pet ownership; shopping centres; and community ovals and fitness stations. I look forward to working on implementing the statement and acting on the vision that has been delivered by our community for our community.


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