Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 14 Hansard (10 December) . . Page.. 5075 ..
MS TUCKER (continuing):
The contention is that to achieve sustainable social initiatives, they must be driven by the community. Integral in this is avoiding co-dependency on institutions and their ability to "welfarise"communities.
Fundamental to the idea of CD is identifying needs and aspirations of communities. For CD workers, this means getting to know the particular community they are working with, developing trust and facilitating aspirations and initiative. Often entailed in this is an idea of community mobilisation.
I think this is very relevant to this debate, when you look at the nature of the debate.
It was interesting listening to Mr Hargreaves' comments, and Mr Cornwell's. Mr Cornwell spent some time talking about graffiti. I could use that as an example of how you apply this community development thinking-that is, working with people rather than doing things to them or on them-the missionary type or missionary model of community development.
It is an interesting discussion. Take, for example, the graffiti issue. Mr Cornwell feels that if you actually take an approach where you prohibit a particular item-in this case, the sale of spray paint to under 18-year-olds-this will in some way control that deficient group in the society which is, as I have already pointed out, in that more missionary model of community development. The other approach to that is the more recent understanding-and certainly the understanding I support and the Greens support-of community development, that notion of working with the characteristics of the community and mobilising them and not just focusing on the problems and pathologising the particular behaviour that is problematic at the time.
The response that I quoted when we had the debate in this place about Warringah Council encapsulates that approach and shows how successful it was not only in terms of dealing with the problem-that is, graffiti tagging, vandalism and graffiti-but in terms of outcomes which reduced the incidence of that particular type of vandalism. It had outcomes which actually mobilised the young people involved in a way that made them positive citizens in our community. It is a really interesting example, I think. If we are talking about government services in the suburbs, which we are, then if you bring that thinking into that you bring in these sorts of community projects such as the one that I am asking for on graffiti so that we get a much more proactive approach from government to work with young people who are at the moment vandalising through graffiti.
I did find it quite amusing actually when Mr Cornwell said that I was going for the vandal vote, considering that he is just hitting people under 18 that don't vote. I couldn't quite see the logic in that either. To be serious, what this approach of community development means is that you are not labelling people as vandals, you are acknowledging them as human beings who have the potential to be contributing citizens and finding ways to work with them to deal with the social problem.
If you apply this generally in this debate about government services in the suburbs, I think it is important to recognise, particularly with such an inadequate transport system in Canberra, that it is really important that we do have the opportunity in suburbs for community to be supported. There have been a couple of studies done. I remember the Susan Conroy study which was looking at cultural needs in Canberra. It has never really