Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 09 Hansard (Wednesday, 23 August 2017) . . Page.. 3189 ..
All of this work I outline to show that we already do a lot but there is much that we can build on. I have asked TCCS to look at new ways that we can engage the community. Looking at examples from across the country, another initiative is the fund my neighbourhood initiative from the South Australian government which goes to grants but is also a really exciting platform that we could potentially use to better inform our service delivery.
I am certainly informed by the numerous petitions we have received this year. Obviously with a very active community and active MLAs we are seeing a lot of proposals come forward, particularly from active members of the Assembly. We really do need to manage this because, for every petition from 300 people wanting to improve a playground, for example, in their neighbourhood, there will be one from the suburb next door. As Mr Coe outlined well, consensus is not always possible.
I think of the sometimes fraught assessment that TCCS needs to make about traffic calming measures. For the number of letters that I may receive demanding traffic calming measures on a particular street, I will likely receive, as Mr Rattenbury would know having been the city services minister, an equal number of letters saying, “Please get rid of these awful traffic calming measures.”
There are a lot of issues that it is incumbent on the government to weigh up in terms of how we prioritise our investments. Ms Le Couteur asked whether we should invest in more playgrounds or more roads. We have to find the right balance in our investments and the right mechanisms for doing that. We already do a lot.
I really welcome this motion and the amendment, because this enables us to progress the work that we are already doing to do even more in how we engage the community and how the community also come to understand some of these trade-offs that the government needs to make—trade-offs between amenities, sustainability, safety and funding priorities—and that is why it is really exciting to see the first citizen jury in Canberra looking at the issue of CTP which does affect everyone across the territory.
I welcome this discussion and I look forward to TCCS continuing to deliver and take on board many of the suggestions made today.
MS LE COUTEUR (Murrumbidgee) (10.38): I will be very brief. I thank all three speakers for their support for the concept of participatory budgeting. The Greens will support Mr Barr’s amendment. It probably reflects a greater understanding of the realities of budget cycles than I have. I think it is very good that all parties here clearly see that we need to improve how the citizens of Canberra are engaged with government and are prepared to support a positive way forward to hopefully a better budget process.
Amendment agreed to.
Original question, as amended, resolved in the affirmative.