Page 5548 - Week 14 - Thursday, 30 November 2017

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(8) What systems are in place to ensure that community feedback and recommendations are implemented by the Government in a timely manner.

(9) What accountability measures are in place to allow community members to hold the Government to account for failing to implement elements of the Better Suburbs Statement.

Ms Fitzharris: The answer to the member’s question is as follows:

(1) The Better Suburbs Program has an extensive community consultation and engagement process including:

opportunities to provide comments on city services online via (survey and online discussion page), by completing a hard copy survey (available in ACT Libraries), by email and on Facebook;

community workshops;

presentations at various community forums (for example Community Council meetings);

drop-in sessions at various locations across Canberra; and

distribution of promotional postcards.

(2) Targeted stakeholder groups include:

Community Councils and Resident’s Associations;

ANU and Canberra University student representatives;

Youth Coalition of the ACT and ACT Youth Advisory Council;

Neighbourhood Watch;

Office for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elected Body;

Office for Women; and

Other representative groups (e.g. RSPCA; YWCA; COTA; People with a Disability; ACT Disability Reference Group; Aged and Carer Advocacy Service; ACT Inclusion Council).

(3) A concerted effort is being made to engage across a broad spectrum of the community including sectors of the community that are or are at risk of becoming disengaged or marginalised. In addition to directly targeting representative groups, numerous participation options are available, including locating hard copies of surveys in libraries, targeted ‘drop-in’ sessions and community workshops, to ensure that people of all ages and abilities have the opportunity to participate.

(4) A motion was passed in the Assembly on 23 August 2017 noting the intention of the Government to conduct a participatory budgeting pilot within City Services no later than the 2019-2020 Budget cycle.

The consultation phase of the Better Suburbs Program commenced on 19 September 2017. It includes deliberative democracy activities to develop the intended City Services vision and priorities to be included in the Better Suburbs Statement. Outcomes of these activities could then be used to inform the participatory budgeting process when it commences.

(5) No.

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