Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 09 Hansard (Wednesday, 23 August 2017) . . Page.. 3187 ..
To that end, I am also a little concerned about this process being controlled by the government as well. To have a panel that feeds straight into a department and then the money goes out from that department without ever coming to this place requires us to in effect approve an appropriation of 20 per cent of the city services budget and then to relinquish control of that. I do not think that is appropriate, I do not think that is prudent and I do not think that really is meeting our obligations in this place.
If we were to have a panel like this and it was going to be somewhat binding, I really think it would be better coming out of the Assembly rather than coming out of a particular government agency. The public servants in that agency have a responsibility to the government of the day and, to that end, I think there is potentially a conflict that could arise here. Therefore I think it would be much better if there were a panel that fed into this place or a subsidiary of this place, namely a Legislative Assembly committee. I think there is some more work that can be done that will better achieve what Ms Le Couteur is looking for.
The opposition is very much open to this concept. We are open to the idea of engaging the community in much better ways than is currently taking place. However I think the detail about how the panel is constituted and how those decisions are enacted are very important components that have not been addressed as yet. I do agree with the principle and I am certainly willing to commit the opposition to working with other members of this place to see if there can be a good way forward. Through a committee process we might be able to achieve something along the lines of what has been put forward.
The opposition will be supporting the amendment put forward by Mr Barr. Whether that means we are representative of the 182,000 voters in Canberra who would not want this motion to get up and would want the amendment to get up, who knows. We will use our judgement to cast our votes accordingly but we do think that there is a principle to uphold here. To that end we will be happy to support an amended motion.
MS FITZHARRIS (Yerrabi—Minister for Health and Wellbeing, Minister for Transport and City Services and Minister for Higher Education, Training and Research) (10.31): I thank Ms Le Couteur for bringing this motion forward. As the Chief Minister and the Leader of the Opposition have said, it builds on much discussion we have in this place on a daily basis.
In particular I want to comment on those elements that relate to the city services budget because, as we know, everyday Canberrans right across the city come into contact with the city services that are managed by the government and delivered very well by Transport Canberra and City Services. I would like to outline for members what many already know but remind them if they have forgotten.
TCCS undertakes a wide range of community engagement activities every day, gathering and evaluating feedback to provide better community services for our city. Some of these include responding daily, frequently, to inquiries from the public through Access Canberra, through ministerials or through direct TCCS contact points