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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2011 Week 07 Hansard (Tuesday, 28 June 2011) . . Page.. 2709 ..


I am very supportive of the idea of breaking down these silos, which are fairly usual in most governments but also the bane of good visionary decision making unless handled well. In a small jurisdiction like the ACT, it should be more possible than with most places to improve the “silo-isation”.

Moving many ACT government staff to a central building could help this cultural change; however, the problem needs to be addressed now, which I imagine was the idea with the new administrative arrangements. We should not be putting it off for six years until we move key staff into a shared building. I do not have a problem with the co-location of staff, but we need a change in culture sooner, not later. I will talk more about the government office building under the Economic Development Directorate later.

I know I spoke about triple bottom line in last year’s budget speech at some length, but I am going to do it again, because unfortunately not much has changed. The Greens ensured that triple bottom line reporting was inserted into the parliamentary agreement, but it has been slow and painful to watch the government grappling with the issue of what to do about it. As we are such a small jurisdiction, it is unreasonable for us to think that we should be able to create all the solutions ourselves, and yet this is what the government is trying to do.

We suggested to the government that they contract an outside expert in this area, someone who has applied triple bottom line in another jurisdiction. I heard last week that the government had committed to applying a triple bottom line to our budgeting processes; however, this round of annual report directions still does not require that for this year. It would improve the government’s performance on accountability outcomes if it did.

It has taken too long for the government to develop a suitable framework for triple bottom line analysis as well as for climate change impact analysis and poverty impact analysis. The Greens believe that this should be incorporated in ACT government decision making as soon as possible. And it is important that the annual reporting by each ACT government instrumentality should include a detailed set of targets and measurement of performance towards these targets.

It is interesting to note that the ACIL Tasman report to the estimates committee agrees with my assessment that there is very little evidence of progress on implementing triple bottom line into ACT government processes in this budget. The report also notes how few indicators are being used to pick up the three angles of triple bottom line. So far, the government work seems to show that their idea of triple bottom line is that you sort each expenditure line into social, environmental or economic. I am pleased to find that ACIL Tasman also understands the need not just to choose one outcome but to measure outputs in the three areas.

They also noted that having performance indicators that tell you what you are actually achieving rather than how many boxes you tick is key. They used the example of whether the affordable housing action plan is actually achieving more affordable housing in the ACT. And perhaps this approach needs to be applied across the board. We need to have in each output key indicators as to what we are achieving, not just


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