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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 03 Hansard (Wednesday, 18 March 2015) . . Page.. 850 ..

I have touched on only a few of the diverse array of areas that will constitute the government’s social inclusion agenda. We will continue to engage with the community and undertake the reforms necessary to ensure that our city is an open and welcoming place for all of our citizens. It is a key priority of the government I lead, and I thank Dr Bourke for raising this important matter this afternoon.

MS PORTER (Ginninderra) (4.23): I am pleased to have the opportunity to speak on this important motion. Social justice, social inclusion and equality are the very foundations on which the Labor Party was founded. We are the party that believes in equality of access to services and equality of opportunity. On this side of politics we believe in levelling the playing field to overcome the disparities in our community that have been caused by unequal access to resources and by attitudes. The Labor Party believes in enabling citizens to participate fully in the life of society in all its aspects and in fostering a healthy democracy through that participation. These are principles that have guided this great Labor Party over the years, and they have enabled this government to transform Canberra into the great place it is today.

As we all know from the Property Council report in March 2014 and the OECD regional wellbeing ranking report in September 2014, Canberra was named as the most livable city in Australia. I have said previously these rankings have not been achieved by chance but, rather, by successive Labor governments’ recognition that to achieve societal progress there is a real need to continue to invest in the wellbeing of people and households. It is through such recognition and partnerships that Canberrans are enjoying great opportunity and accessing appropriately targeted services, as well as participating in both the social and economic life of this city.

A great example of how this government is achieving this is through programs such as the better services blueprint and the one human services gateway, which we launched last year in west Belconnen. As I stated in my speech to this Assembly last month, these initiatives are the result of the close partnership of this government with the community sector, a partnership that recognises that it is through working together that positive outcomes can be achieved for the community.

The aim of the blueprint is to guide the delivery of human services across government and the community sector that are more client-driven, more holistic, more responsive to the dynamic, changing needs of the community and more inclusive. This initiative has already seen families working with trained workers to come up with tailored solutions for specific families because, as we know, one size does not fit all.

We are experiencing a time of considerable challenge, mainly as a result of the federal Liberal government’s needless and ill-thought-out austerity measures, cutting federally funded programs with devastating effects. In recognition of this, the government is committed to continuing to work closely with the community sector and business to ensure that the Canberra community remains strong, healthy and resilient.

For over 30 years after relocating to Canberra from the remote parts of the Northern Territory, where I worked as a registered nurse in Indigenous communities, I worked

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