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ACT review of Governance public hearings begin

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Media Statement - SI6/98 Page 1 o f2

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Other Media Statements [Minister for Regional Development, Territories and Local Government] [Minister for Transport and Regional Development 1

[Michael Ronaldson, Parliamentary Secretary] [Departmental]

M e d i a

R e l e a s eTHE HON ALEX S( Minister for Regional Development, Territories and I SI 6/98 3 March 1998


The Federal Minister for Territories, Alex Somlyay is encouraging Canberrans to attend and participate in the public hearings o f the Joint Commonwealth/ACT Working Party Review into the ACT Governance.

He said it almost a decade since ACT self- government and its appropriate to take a close look at how the current arrangements are working, especially now that the results o f the ACT election are clear.

"The terms o f reference are very clear that the fundamental question o f the continuation o f ACT self-government is not an issue open to review. Other matters outside the terms o f reference include Commonwealth/Territory financial and planning arrangements.

"Now that the ACT election result is clear 1 am delighted that the public hearing process can begin immediately, allowing the Working Party to report to both governments and the community by late April," Mr Somlyay said.

The Minister said public hearings begin tomorrow and will continue on Thursday at the ACT Legislative Assembly committee room two.

"Advertisements have been placed in the Canberra Times and at this stage day two is not fully booked out. Canberrans who want to make a submission to the hearing can phone 6205 0466.

"I join with the Chief Minister, Kate Carnell and the Chair o f the Working Party, Professor Phillip Pettit in encouraging business, community organisations and individual Canberrans to attend and participate.

"We have an opportunity to review the operation o f the ACT's governing institutions and to identify reforms that will deliver efficient and effective government to the ACT," Mr Somlyay said. 04/06/1998

Media Statement - S16/98 Page 2 o f2

He said the process was well in train with some 25 written submissions now before the Working Party.

"The submissions have raised a number of interesting themes which may well be taken up in the public hearings. These include a modest increase in the size o f the Legislative Assembly representation, an increase in the size o f the ministry, improvements in public sector accountability and improvements in community access to the executive arm o f government in the ACT," said Mr Somlyay.

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Further information: Graeme Hallett (Minister's Office) 02-6277 7060

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