Page 2089 - Week 07 - Tuesday, 21 June 2005

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MR SPEAKER: We have been over this a number of times.

Mr Quinlan: You talked about fathers and sons.

MR SPEAKER: Order! Members, Mr Quinlan! According to the standing orders, the minister has five minutes to address the question that you asked. I cannot direct him to respond in the way that you might wish.

MR HARGREAVES: I will repeat it: ACT NOWaste has commissioned a separate valuation as a check on the AVO advice to make sure that they are talking the same language.

Another major concern with tenants is the tenure to be offered with new licences. This goes to what Mrs Dunne is insinuating. ACT NOWaste is negotiating with tenants on tenure as part of agreeing new licence agreements. Short-term licences would allow ACT NOWaste the mechanism to free blocks in the future for innovative recycling and resource recovery businesses to establish. ACT NOWaste continues to consult with tenants to resolve issues and is currently undertaking a review of the rents in tenure. Because of inputs from tenants, current licences have been extended for three months until the end of this month to allow issues to be resolved.

In answer to Mrs Dunne’s direct question as to whether we are targeting anybody specifically: no.

Community engagement

MS PORTER: My question is to the Minister for Disability, Housing and Community Services. Before arriving in this place, I was involved in the community sector. As the minister knows, as part of that work I sat on a working group for the implementation of the community engagement initiative and I have an abiding interest in this initiative. I would like the minister to inform the Assembly about the government’s recently launched community engagement initiative.

MR HARGREAVES: I thank Ms Porter for the question and acknowledge her continued commitment to this issue. Indeed, Ms Porter was instrumental, in her previous role with Volunteering ACT, in contributing to this initiative and I was pleased to see her at the launching of the initiative the other day.

Everyone here is aware that the ACT government is unique in that it has responsibility for both local and territory governance. That means that we engage with the community on everything from rubbish collection and potholes to education, health and policing. That is for the information of Mr Pratt, who has not yet figured it out. Whilst our population is relatively small, it is highly educated and informed and is keen to engage government on many issues. This engagement is something that the government welcomes and fosters.

In February last year, the Chief Minister released the Canberra social plan. Its aim was to set priorities and provide a long-term focus for the government’s interaction with the community on all matters, small and large, that contribute to community building. It was

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