Page 3695 - Week 12 - Wednesday, 23 October 2013
Examples like these and many others are why I believe that politics should not be about pushing people away. It should always be about connecting with people and giving them genuine opportunities to engage in the decisions of government.
To further put this sentiment in concrete terms, my office and I have developed ways to involve my local community in the work and decisions of this government. For example, I have recently begun conducting information and learning sessions with community groups on fix my street to show residents that this government has provided a powerful tool to improve their facilities and local infrastructure. This has been a great way to get locals to think positively about their streets, shops and suburbs, and they have certainly helped to speed up responses that they get from government.
Most recently I have turned my attention to involving the community in the discussions about what will go into the 2013-14 budget. The what’s next campaign builds on the fix my street sessions by actively involving community members in the 2014 ACT budget consultation process. Through a widely advertised series of community stalls, mail-outs and meetings with neighbourhood groups, my volunteers and I have asked the community to identify positive and realistic improvements that would make a difference to the electorate that we all live in. The most popular ideas will be pulled together into a community budget submission.
This has been a great 12 months and no matter what some of those opposite might be trying to tell us from across the chamber, these achievements form the basis of my work with our united team within the ACT government, and that is building stronger communities and a fairer society.
MR RATTENBURY (Molonglo—Minister for Territory and Municipal Services, Minister for Corrections, Minister for Housing, Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs and Minister for Ageing) (12.10): I will be supporting this motion today and not supporting Mr Hanson’s amendment. This motion provides an opportunity to reflect not only on what has been achieved over the last year but also to look at how we should go about addressing the range of issues facing the territory into the future. I am pleased to be part of a government that is prepared to deliver important social, environmental and economic reforms and a government looking at how we can provide for all Canberrans and the various scenarios this city faces into the future.
To look back over the first year, I have to say that I think my decision to work with Labor to form a government has been a decision that has delivered effectively for the Canberra community. I think we have managed to establish a government that is effective, stable and getting on with the things that people in Canberra care about. It is important to remember at that point that people in Canberra care about a whole range of things—whether that is reducing red tape, as Minister Barr has spoken about, or legislating for marriage equality, people expect us to do all of these things.
We have seen some criticism in the last few days that the ACT should not be dealing with some of these matters. Actually, our community expects us to deal with all of