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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 08 Hansard (Thursday, 6 August 2015) . . Page.. 2468 ..

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) (3.46): I am pleased to have the opportunity to speak today on the importance of genuine consultation in the ACT. The ACT government is committed to engaging the Canberra community in the development and delivery of government policies, programs, public works and services. We understand that the Canberra community expects to be engaged and that engagement, when done well, enhances democracy and places the community at the centre of the governance process. It is this overarching commitment to the principles of open government that underpins the government’s approach to engaging with the Canberra community.

The ACT government uses engaging Canberrans, a guide to community engagement, as an overarching framework to community engagement activities and is also continually developing and implementing a range of digital initiatives to effectively engage with all Canberrans including those who are time poor and cannot participate in traditional public meetings and engagement. It is this inclusive approach to government that encourages the involvement of our community more than ever and can be demonstrated by our focus on further development of online and social media tools. We currently have nine open consultations and in the last financial year there were 57 consultations across government.

Mr Assistant Speaker, I am very pleased to be able to table for the information of the Assembly a full list of those consultations undertaken across government during the last financial year as set out on the time to talk website. I present the following paper:

Consultations by ACT government 2014-15—from Time to Talk.

As part of these consultations we use a range of mechanisms to engage with the Canberra community, including the ACT government digital mail service, an emailing outreach service which commenced in February 2014, to provide government information in a more timely and targeted way and the time to talk Canberra website where Canberrans can have their say on local issues by posting online, completing surveys or using other social media. The time to talk website has received more than 103,000 page views in the past financial year and has grown in its average number of visits per month from around 2,300 in 2013-14 to 8,600 in 2014-15.

The Our city, our community weekly e-newsletter updates the community on ACT government projects and initiatives and is distributed through the ACT government digital mail service twice yearly. The Canberra Times community noticeboard, which includes information on events, upcoming consultations and road closures, is published in the Saturday edition of the Canberra Times and is also distributed as part of the Our city, our community weekly e-newsletter.

Mr Assistant Speaker, it is our priority to get out and listen to Canberrans and provide the services they need and I am pleased to be able to speak in detail about some of the more recent engagements. The Capital Metro Agency has set a high standard for its community engagement activities ensuring that there are ongoing mechanisms for the

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