Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 10 Hansard (27 August) . . Page.. 2845 ..
MS DUNDAS (continuing):
Other initiatives in this appropriation include the small business employment ready scheme, and this, in effect, involves the production of leaflets to try to encourage small businesses to employ staff. I am hopeful that this scheme will pay off, and we will continue to monitor the unemployment figures to see if it makes a difference. The figures released since this budget has been put down have shown that the rate of unemployment amongst women in the ACT increased by 26 per cent and the youth unemployment rate has remained stagnant. But this hides the fact the participation rate has dropped by 8 per cent since the budget was handed down. Young people are missing out on jobs, and you can't drive a Mack truck through that. I sincerely hope that the small business employment ready scheme will see increases in this area.
Finally, if ever a department was capable of triple bottom line reporting it is surely the Chief Minister's Department-the department established to provide whole-of-government responses. But what we see is one department producing an economic white paper, a social plan and a spatial plan. This is definitely an old-school approach to policy-economics in one report, social in another and environment in yet another. In fact, economic white papers are just a government hangover from the 19th century nation states. This is not innovation. However, just imagine the potential and the innovation required to combine the three plans into a definitive triple bottom line audit of the territory. We now realise that social, economic and environment do not exist in vacuums. Mr Speaker, as I said, this is a missed opportunity.
MR CORBELL (Minister for Education, Youth and Family Services, Minister for Planning and Minister for Industrial Relations) (3:57): Mr Speaker, I am inclined to respond to some of the points Ms Dundas made in relation to the strategic planning framework the government is establishing because, whilst Ms Dundas may see it as a fragmented and missed opportunity, it is in fact the first deliberate and concerted effort to establish a strategic planning framework for our city which incorporates environmental and social considerations. Each of these are major bodies of work. They are designed to come together in a single document, in a single framework, namely the Canberra Plan-a plan for our city which will guide decision-making, both now and into the future, over the next 25 to 30 years. This will occur in a way which seeks to get to the detail of each of the major substantive areas that we are seeking to address.
The spatial planning exercise is essentially about land use: about how we use land now and into the future; how we order priorities for the use of land to meet our objectives socially, environmentally and economically. That is why the spatial planning exercise is being conducted by Planning and Land Management.
Equally, the social planning exercises and the economic planning exercises are occurring in the central agency of government-respectively in the social planning area and in the economic planning area of the Chief Minister's Department. But, for the first time, these three documents are going to come together as a single framework for decision-making in the city. If there is one thing the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development's report into the future of Canberra said when it was released, it was that we need a strategic planning framework to guide the future of our city; we need as a city to establish commonly agreed goals about where we go, how we get there, what our aspirations for the city are and how we achieve them. That is fundamentally what the