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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2016 Week 08 Hansard (Thursday, 11 August 2016) . . Page.. 2758 ..

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Hanson.

MR HANSON: Chief Minister, have your actions intimidated people so that they have been reluctant to give you advice that you simply do not want to hear?

MR BARR: The government continues to engage very strongly with the community. We have just launched a new platform for community engagement called Your Say. This gives significant new capability to the ACT government to engage with the community. I have been delighted to see the level of engagement on a variety of different community issues. What is particularly pleasing is the broad range of people who are participating in community engagement activities.

I think it is important that in the future we move away from time-based consultation processes and set new benchmarks in terms of the number of people engaged. A good example of this in recent times relates to the city to the lake project where during 2013 we sought the views of 15,000 Canberrans. As I responded yesterday to a question from those opposite, 94 per cent of those 15,000 people who participated in that consultation were supportive of the direction that the government had outlined. We will continue to engage in those large-scale consultations. In the future consultations will be based on the number of people we reach to ensure that those people are demographically representative of the Canberra community.

But it is important to note that the median age of the population in our city is 34 and the single largest demographic is young people between 20 and 29. It is important that their voices are heard as well as those who fall outside that demographic. A real focus in the future on community consultation has to have a demographically representative sample of Canberrans consulted on the major issues that affect the future of this city, and that will be a focus for the government in the months and years ahead.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Coe.

MR COE: Chief Minister, how has your overwhelming centralisation of power and decision-making impacted the deteriorating integrity in your administration?

MR BARR: The government was pleased to commission in 2011 the Allan Hawke review of governance of the territory. That particular review made a series of recommendations that the government has established—one ACT public service. I remind Mr Coe that if he looks at the paper and looks at option A, it was for a combined central agency, Chief Minister, Treasury and Economic Development.

Option A of the Hawke review has been adopted by my government. It reflects the recommendations of a considered review undertaken five years ago and has been progressively implemented by the government since 2011. Dr Hawke made that recommendation to establish a directorate of Chief Minister, Treasury and Economic Development and we have undertaken our government’s structures in accordance with the principles outlined in that review, which was commissioned in 2011, and the recommendations of the review.

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