Page 51 - Week 01 - Tuesday, 15 February 2011

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sustainable development, ageing, affordable and appropriate housing, skills and transport.

I believe the time is right to ask whether we should continue to make incremental changes to our administrative arrangements or whether we take a bolder approach. Seizing the moment now will build upon and complement other work on which the government has embarked. There is our activity in the area of citizen-centred governance, exemplified by the recent 2030 conversation. There is the growing momentum for a review of the self-government act, the law that created us but that now constrains us. There is the first comprehensive review of our taxation system since self-government, a review of the Canberra plan and a reconsideration of the spatial plan. All of this work acknowledges the realities and the opportunities of our
city-state and our hybrid mix of municipal and state functions. All of this work has one purpose: to allow this government to serve Canberrans better.

I commissioned Dr Hawke to build on this work so that our city-state, unique in this country, is equipped to the greatest possible extent to meet the challenges and opportunities of the future. Dr Hawke found that in many areas and in some applications the ACT public service is exemplary. The question is not just whether we are adequately served today but whether, as presently configured, the bureaucracy can continue to serve this community and the government of the day effectively as we head into our second century.

Dr Hawke concludes that it is open to the ACT to choose a model of administration that actually reflects, for the first time in our history, the defining characteristics of our city-state and the type and range of services we deliver. This exercise has been about taking a public service that is already in many respects a national and even a world leader and equipping it to meet the needs of our community into the future. We have a chance, in this review and the other work I have outlined, to design the supporting structures of government to suit our own city’s circumstances for the first time in our history.

I take this opportunity in this forum to commend Dr Hawke for the breadth of knowledge and the insight he has brought to this exercise, and I thank him for his report. For the information of members I table the following paper:

Governing the City State—One ACT Government—One ACT Public Service—Review of ACT Public Sector Structures and Capacity, prepared by Allan Hawke, dated 2 February 2011.

MR SPEAKER: Mr Hargreaves, a supplementary question?

MR HARGREAVES: Thanks very much, Mr Speaker. Chief Minister, what are the immediate steps that will be taken in response to Dr Hawke’s recommendations?

MR STANHOPE: Thank you, Mr Hargreaves. I am sure, as members would be aware, having regard to the nature of the report, the complexity of the issues that it raises, the essential recommendation of a complete restructuring of the ACT public service into a single department, along with many other potentially quite complex recommendations or issues to grapple with, the government will take some time to put

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