Page 4055 - Week 13 - Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . . Video

The Woden Valley Community Council’s chair and publicity officer at the moment is Martin Miller. The deputy chair is Mike Reddy, the treasurer and publicity officer is Bill O’Brien, the secretary is Archana Boniface, the minutes secretary is Timoshenko Aslanides, and the committee members include Jenny Stewart, Chris Erett and Julian Fitzgerald. They engage widely across Woden seeking comment from the community. In particular, they are currently pursuing local needs regarding parks, parklands, car parks, ovals, development, the arts, graffiti concerns and facilities for youth and our aged.

I look forward in the upcoming era to also, potentially, be working with the Tuggeranong Community Council. Formed in 1983 and now with over 100,000 residents in Tuggeranong, I think the community council have been working continuously. I remember attending their meetings during the 2010 federal campaign when I stood for the seat of Canberra. They are known pretty well by businesses, residents, schools and community groups, and many of those people benefit from their hard work. I thank the current position holders and principal volunteers—president Glenys Patulny, vice-president Wayne King, treasurer Max Flint, vice-president and publicity officer Beverley Flint, secretary Paul Nichols, minutes secretary Tom Lindenmayer, committee member Darryl Johnson, and all the past volunteers.

I thank those councils in my electorate. We know that the Gungahlin Community Council has done a lot of work over the years and has been led by people with a variety of very strong political views at times. Good on them. Those people put in the hours and they did not get paid. They did not get much of a pat on the back, but they were doing what they believed in. I put on record my thanks to them. They should keep going. If they annoy people in the Assembly, they are probably doing their job.

MR BARR (Molonglo—Chief Minister, Treasurer, Minister for Economic Development, Minister for Urban Renewal and Minister for Tourism and Events) (4.50): I welcome the opportunity to talk a little about community councils today. They certainly can play a part in government’s engagement with the Canberra community, particularly on future planning, city resilience and sustainability issues. To be effective, community councils in the ACT must operate as apolitical organisations that provide a voice for the community on issues affecting particular regions of the ACT at a grassroots level.

As we have heard, there are seven community councils in the territory—Gungahlin, north Canberra, Tuggeranong, Weston Creek, Woden Valley, Belconnen and the inner south community council. They can play a role in helping to inform policy development and program delivery, and to provide community feedback through the planning process, as well as working together to strengthen community spirit by organising events, festivals and activities.

However—and this is the point that I was making in the annual report hearings when I was asked a question about ways to improve community consultation—the point needs to be made that consultation with the community must adapt to people’s changing preferences. This does not mean scrapping old forms of consultation, but it does mean being open to new ways to engage and communicate.

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . . Video