ACT Council of Social Service Inc.

Justice | Equity | Social Inclusion | Reconciliation

Media release: New ministries reflect key priorities

24 August 2018

The ACT Council of Social Service (ACTCOSS) has congratulated Chris Steel MLA on his elevation to the Ministry and welcomed new Ministerial arrangements which respond to community priorities.

The ACT reshuffle includes new Ministries for City Services, Community Services and Facilities, Urban Renewal, Government Services and Procurement and Building Quality Improvement.

ACTCOSS Director Susan Helyar said, “We note the announcement of new Ministries which respond to pressures and priorities raised by the community sector including municipal services, urban renewal and community services and facilities.

“We look forward to working with the new Ministers, including Chris Steel MLA who has been on the front foot in working with the community and shown leadership in important areas, such as the comprehensive report of the inquiry into the employment of people with disabilities.

“A dedicated focus on city services under Minister Steel will be welcome. We have stressed the importance of increased appropriate investment and attention to municipal services within the mix of ACT Government responsibilities for some time.

“We also note the timely appointment of Rachel Stephen-Smith MLA as Minister for Urban Renewal. ACTCOSS has emphasised the need to ensure urban renewal increases affordability, accessibility, sustainability and inclusiveness as we rapidly grow. We still have work to do to ensure the alignment of planning, urban renewal and transport works for those with the greatest needs – especially in the new bus network redesign.

“In our 2018-19 Budget submission we highlighted the need for more attention to community facilities and it’s great to see a dedicated Minister in this area. Too many of our community spaces are run down. An early priority should be consultation on priority work to remediate frayed community infrastructure and ensure a long term plan for affordable and appropriate community facilities.

“ACTCOSS notes the appointment of Gordon Ramsay MLA as the Minister for Building Quality Improvement. As we highlighted in our submission to the Housing Choices process, work is needed to ensure ACT building regulation, quality control and oversight is consistent and high.

“In our Budget submission and elsewhere, ACTCOSS advocated for a fit for purpose community services procurement framework, and the appointment of Rachel Stephen-Smith MLA as Minister for Government Services and Procurement is also welcome”, Ms Helyar concluded.

For more information or comment please contact
Susan Helyar, Director, on 0448 791 987 or 02 6202 7200.