Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 13 Hansard (Tuesday, 31 October 2017) . . Page.. 4705 ..
The government very loudly proclaimed the award and recognition of Canberra as a great place to live but this is belied by the level of maintenance provided in the suburban communities. What the engagement of the community is telling us, yet again, is that this government has its priorities wrong and this government is not looking after its citizens, those that live and work here—people who are keen to maintain quality standards in their living environments. The huge number of engaged and participating community members tells us that perhaps the government services are inadequate, that maintenance schedules need to be reviewed, that there is inadequate funding and resourcing of the public services and that this needs to be addressed.
There have been significant increases in rates—on average 12 per cent for individual households—and people are telling us that they are not happy that their increased rates are not generating appropriate increases in government services.
Yes, we agree that this is a matter of public importance. It is important that the community in the ACT participate on government services, perhaps through the fix my street website. But this is only important if this government responds, only important if this government funds the appropriate services. Maybe if the government actually funded their services appropriately then the community could participate in more positive matters such as volunteering, attending community events or supporting local groups.
MR RAMSAY (Ginninderra—Attorney-General, Minister for Regulatory Services, Minister for the Arts and Community Events and Minister for Veterans and Seniors) (4.02): It is a pleasure to rise today to speak on this, a definite matter of public importance on how the community can help the government to ensure that services are delivered in the most efficient way. It is with some sadness that I hear yet another speech from the opposition dripping with negativity, maligning our public servants, who are working well, efficiently and effectively and listening well to members of the public.
I was pleased to launch the newest version of the fix my street website with the Minister for Transport and City Services. Fix my street is a government service that is well utilised by many in the community, just shy of 40,000 jobs through the platform in the last financial year alone. Its role and its effect is to help the government have eyes and ears in places all across Canberra, as we cannot always have our hardworking and positive public servants in every suburb at all hours of the day.
In a way, fix my street is a form of crowd-sourcing information. Many organisations and individuals across many industries, including government, have been using this approach very effectively over a number of years. Citizen scientists are out in force every day helping scientists and governments map information and reporting back on things that they have seen. For example, the FeralScan app allows Australians across the country to report sightings of introduced species and document the effects they are having on the landscape. Programs such as these allow companies, scientists and governments to collect data much beyond the reach of their own internal resources.