Council calls for better government engagement


The Molonglo Valley Community Council has written a letter to Chief Minister Andrew Bar, calling for better engagement between the government and the ACT’s community councils.

The council claims the current model in which community councils and the government consult on local issues facing districts across Canberra is flawed and needs to be improved to ensure those issues are brought to the attention of the government more clearly and are addressed more effectively.

The Molonglo Valley Community Council has made several recommendations, including the creation of a ‘Districts Office’ within the Chief Minister’s office, which would consist of directors as points of contact for each district in the ACT to develop district level solutions across all government directorates.

They also want 4 town hall meetings held per year per district as part of this recommendation.

Another recommendations is for a District Planning Advisory Group to be established with representation from each of Canberra’s 9 districts, which would be consulted by ACT government directorates on district-level initiatives.

Molonglo Valley Community Council’s president Ryan Hemsley says while the current system has helped deliver some of the benefits council’s have advocated for, it is not working well enough.

“We don’t believe there is support from the community for the model, we don’t believe there is support within the ACT government for the model as it presently stands, and it’s becoming clear to us as the ACT’s newest community council, there isn’t a whole lot of support for the way in which the model has been operating for quite some time,” Mr Hemsley says.

They also want the Molonglo Valley to be recognised as its own district and not to be tied in with Woden and Weston Creek.

The council has decided it will not seek renewed Deed Grant funding from the government –  a yearly grant given to community councils between $10,000 to $15,000 to operate.

The council’s letter and recommendations has been supported by the Weston Creek Community Council and former community council president Peter Elford.

Mr Hemsley says he believes there will be broader support for their proposals.

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