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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 04 Hansard (Friday, 23 April 2021) . . Page.. 1166 ..


but there are some where the community is quite evenly split. Cabinet will obviously consider that feedback, together with other sourced information.

The advantage of the online panel is that you hear from people who you otherwise may not hear from and you get a broader sense of the community’s views, rather than community engagement that just focuses on those absolutely and most motivated to participate. I think it is important, as a part of a suite of consultation tools, to understand the broader community’s views on particular issues and also how important they view something to be, because whilst it may be very important to a very small section of the community, the rest of us may not think it is as important as some others do. The panel is able to give us insights into the relative importance of issues as well as a very demographically representative sample of community opinion. That pool of 4,700, for example, is significantly larger than national opinion polling companies use for Australia-wide polling. (Time expired.)

MS CLAY: A supplementary. What other methods of community consultation are you using when you are scoping feedback for government services?

MR BARR: I thank Ms Clay for the question. It is everything from your more traditional town hall community meeting format, which, again, attracts only the most interested and motivated people, through to targeted consultations with particular demographics who may not participate—

Mrs Jones: When was the last town hall meeting, Mr Barr?

MR BARR: It has been difficult in a pandemic, Mrs Jones, to hold town hall meetings. There have not been that many in the last year; that is fair. We also, of course, undertake targeted stakeholder consultations with representative groups. There are neighbourhood-level discussions. We do a lot online. We have also surveyed our own panel and Canberrans more broadly on how they would like to be engaged with. Most people, the overwhelming majority, want to do it at a time that suits them. They do not want to turn up at 7.30 to a cold hall somewhere in the middle of winter. They want to be able to engage with government in a straightforward way.

The engagement levels on the community panel, for example, are about 100 times more than you would ever get attend a public meeting in Canberra. It is way more successful, way more engaging and way more representative of what Canberrans really think. Of course, every four years we get the ultimate sample when 300,000 people cast their votes and elect people into this chamber. We saw the result of that only six months ago.

Economy—COVID-19

DR PATERSON: My question is to the Chief Minister. Chief Minister, what is the government’s fiscal strategy in response to COVID-19?

MR BARR: I thank Dr Paterson for the question. We will continue to support the territory’s economic recovery. The recovery of our labour market is the first and foremost priority. Tracking back towards the full employment situation that we had


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