Page 4077 - Week 13 - Tuesday, 17 November 2015

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I have sponsored petitions from several community councils in this place. One most recently was from the Red Hill Residents Group concerning the lack of government consultation over redevelopment of public housing. Earlier today the government finally tabled its response to the Narrabundah Community Council’s petition over lack of consultation also on public housing development. The constant complaint of community councils is that this government does not consult and does not listen to the views of the community. And we know why.

The Chief Minister has set out the official opinion of the government to community councils. Chief Minister Barr has told us and community councils across Canberra quite clearly what he thinks of them. He said recently:

The idea that a community council is any way representative, given that most of the attendees are of one particular gender in some councils and, again, way out of connect with the demographic distribution of people living in particular regions, is another example of where communication … needs to be much broader.

Translate that and I think it gets back to the Hargreaves approach: community councils do not always agree with the Labor government and, therefore, must be ignorant and out of touch or, in Chief Minister Barr’s view, not hip enough. We know he believes that anyone over 45 should not have an opinion on anything in this city. Just go back to the criticism of the demonstrably failed Westside pop-up village. He will not accommodate any criticism of that particular failed experiment.

In summing up, I place on record my thanks to all the community councils, residents groups and other local associations who do a great body of work for the betterment of this city. I apologise if I inadvertently miss any of the groups but I list those that quickly come to mind: the Inner South Canberra Community Council, which includes Deakin, Barton, Kingston, Griffith, Red Hill, Narrabundah, Yarralumla and Oaks Estate; the Inner North Canberra Community Council, which includes Downer Community Association, Hackett residents, Watson Community Association, Ainslie Retirees Association, Neighbourhood Watch, the Dickson Residents Group, Canberra City Residents Association, Hackett Neighbourhood Watch, Reid residents, Russell reservists, Turner residents, Watson Community Association, Watson woodlands; the Yarralumla Residents Association; and the Oaks Estate Progress Association. (Time expired.)

Amaroo scout group

MS FITZHARRIS (Molonglo) (6.02): On Tuesday, 27 October I was lucky enough to have the Amaroo scout group come to the Assembly. Around 25 enthusiastic members of the Amaroo scout group attended with their leaders. Thank you, Madam Deputy Speaker, for your welcome to them in the chamber.

The main reason for the scouts visiting me at the Assembly was for them to work towards their citizenship badge. An aspect of the citizenship badge is to watch a parliament in action and learn about government processes. The scouts sat in the observers area and watched members in action talking through legislation, a

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