Page 1873 - Week 05 - Thursday, 5 May 2011

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Thursday, 5 May 2011

MR SPEAKER (Mr Rattenbury) took the chair at 10 am and asked members to stand in silence and pray or reflect on their responsibilities to the people of the Australian Capital Territory.

Public Sector Management (One ACT Public Service) Amendment Bill 2011

Mr Stanhope, pursuant to notice, presented the bill, its explanatory statement and a Human Rights Act compatibility statement.

Title read by Clerk.

MR STANHOPE (Ginninderra—Chief Minister, Minister for Transport, Minister for Territory and Municipal Services, Minister for Business and Economic Development, Minister for Land and Property Services, Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs and Minister for the Arts and Heritage) (10.02): I move:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

I am pleased to present the Public Sector Management (One ACT Public Service) Amendment Bill 2011, a bill to streamline the ACT public service and set it on its path of modernisation, moving it into the next phase of its evolution.

In September last year I commissioned a review into the ACT public service by Dr Allan Hawke, with the key question being: is the configuration of the ACT public service appropriate to meet the government’s current needs? Or put another way: how can we maximise the city-state government model we have here in the ACT and promote a shared sense of purpose?

Dr Hawke was asked to consider whether the way the service is structured and functions are performed supports the delivery of strategic policy advice and high quality services or whether there were any blockages preventing departments from delivering coordinated advice to the government of the day and impeding the provision of services to the people of Canberra. In the knowledge that governments around the country are facing what some have called “wicked” policy dilemmas, I also asked Dr Hawke to consider what might improve the service’s capacity to be resilient, more innovative and agile.

Dr Hawke and his team did an outstanding job, looking at the problem from both a national perspective and in the international context. They recognised that in the modern era of governing, the ACT is not alone in facing deeply challenging problems. However, few encounter the range and type of problems that the ACT government faces as a combined state and municipal polity, with issues divergent in their nature and complexity. These extend from ensuring the citizens of the ACT have access to high quality health care and educational services to making sure households have their garbage bins cleared every week.

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