Page 1590 - Week 06 - Tuesday, 12 May 2015

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I also want to touch on Minister Berry’s focus on reducing domestic violence in our community. I cannot think of many other issues that have had such a damaging effect on inclusion. Victims of violence can never feel safe and are often forced to flee their local community and support networks in order to escape the violence. It dislocates children from their friends and their schools. In extreme cases, it deprives young children of their mothers, as we have seen in recent tragedies in our city and around our country.

From grassroots funding support through to the highest levels of government, we are taking practical steps to fight this scourge of violence in the home. We are listening to those on the front line and acting accordingly by, for example, reforming our victims of crime assistance scheme to reduce trauma and provide better support services. That is why countering domestic violence was the first task I assigned to the newly formed cabinet subcommittee on social inclusion. More generally, this dedicated cabinet subcommittee is also proving to be a strong forum for the exchange of ideas, providing more accountability on priority projects and allowing direct ministerial input into the early stage of the policy development cycle.

My commitment to place social inclusion at the core of my government’s work will build on Labor’s impressive record in government and, importantly, also drive the new reforms we need in this decade for the benefit of the entire Canberra community. I commend Minister Berry for her leadership in this important policy priority for the territory government and for the people of Canberra.

MR GENTLEMAN (Brindabella—Minister for Planning, Minister for Roads and Parking, Minister for Workplace Safety and Industrial Relations, Minister for Children and Young People and Minister for Ageing) (11.09): I thank my colleague Ms Berry for providing an update to the Assembly on the ACT government’s progress on social inclusion. This government has led from the front and been proactive in tackling inequality and disadvantage in our community. This is something we can only do by incorporating the key principles of social inclusion into everything we do as a government, whether that be in the services we deliver, the laws we make or the practices we adopt. All these things must be done to enhance the lives of people who, for whatever reason, find themselves at the edges of our community.

Ms Berry said in her statement that good urban planning builds communities, connects our citizens and helps to bring about a sense of identity and belonging. As Minister for Planning, I would like to outline the ways in which the government is building communities in the ACT. This is a priority for the work of the government’s planning portfolio. Planning for Canberra needs to ensure a future city that is exciting, prosperous and livable for the whole community. Planning also needs to provide benefits to support the way communities live, work, travel and connect.

The ACT planning portfolio is involved in a number of projects that are focused on building communities, including the statement of planning intent, city plan implementation, master plans, public transport and active travel, the healthy weight initiative and active living program, and community and recreational facilities. Planning is essentially about people and communities. A connected and inclusive city provides people with a greater sense of identity and belonging. As our city grows

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