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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 02 Hansard (Thursday, 11 February 2021) . . Page.. 513 ..

There are currently seven community councils operating in the ACT, including Weston Creek, Woden Valley, Tuggeranong, Belconnen, Gungahlin, inner south, and north Canberra. The ACT government provides financial and in-kind support to the existing seven community councils across the ACT.

I have moved this motion in recognition of the fact that residents of the Molonglo Valley face issues that are unique, and it is important that there is a forum to bring people together. Further, it is important that the group is incorporated to cement the community development work that has occurred to date and promote avenues for residents to connect, receive information, discuss relevant issues and advocate to the ACT government.

Following recognition as a community council, the group will be eligible for future community council funding under the annual deed of grant process. Through this motion I suggest that it be included in the remit of the proposed Molonglo Valley community council that it is a requirement to engage with the community and advocate to the ACT government on local issues relevant to the livelihood, livability and wellbeing of residents and the community.

Given the unique demographic attributes of the newly established suburbs, it is imperative that the Molonglo Valley community council is reflective and inclusive of the diversity of this community. This will require thinking outside the box and exploring innovative community engagement methods to establish a council that engages younger stakeholders and those from non-English-speaking backgrounds, as an example. This proposed Molonglo Valley community council provides an exciting opportunity to build partnerships between residents and the ACT government to achieve the best outcomes for the community.

Members of the Assembly, I have moved that this Assembly calls on the ACT government to support the establishment of a Molonglo Valley community council to engage with and advocate to the ACT government on a broad range of issues and reflect the needs of the local community, and ensure that the group’s membership is reflective and inclusive of the area’s broad population and demography by exploring innovative community engagement methods.

MR BARR (Kurrajong—Chief Minister, Treasurer, Minister for Climate Action, Minister for Economic Development and Minister for Tourism) (5.18): I thank Dr Paterson for bringing forward this motion today and for her advocacy, as an representative elected by the entire community, together with the other members from Murrumbidgee, on behalf of Molonglo Valley residents.

As we have heard, the Molonglo Valley is a rapidly developing area of our city, one that has a very different demographic profile to Weston Creek. Following Dr Paterson’s advocacy as an elected representative, I have asked my directorate to work with representatives of the Molonglo Valley Community Forum on the steps required to be recognised as a community council.

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