100 days as Chief Minister

Well I can certainly say that my first 100 days in this new role as Chief Minister for the ACT has been a busy, engaging, challenging and exciting time.  Its also been a time, like in any new job, where I have had to learn on the job.

I have been very keen to put my own stamp on the job even though it’s only been a relatively short time since Jon Stanhope left the Assembly after 10 years of dedicated service.  I have been careful to make sure that we have been able to keep the business of government ticking along, whilst making some changes to the way the system works.

I am very happy that today, my 100th day in this job, I am launching my new blog.  This is a new world to me and many who know me well would probably laugh to see me actually have a blog (due to my lack of understanding about how all these things work) but I am going to give it a good go as I am very keen to utilise the potential that these “new” forms of communication provide us with to do our job properly.

The 100 day milestone for any government is an important one as it provides us with the opportunity to stop and consider what we have achieved already and what more needs to be done, particularly in our key priority areas.

On 1 July, we commenced operating across the ACT Government under the one public service model.  As part of this transition to one public service, I wanted to see a greater openness in government as part of my desire to work hand in hand, in a truly informed and collaborative partnership with community, business and industry.  I think we have, over the past 3 months, been able to take some concrete steps in the right direction in this space but obviously more needs to be done.  I will update you with some more information on this in the next few days.

When I look back over the diary, the past 100 days have been packed with meetings, functions and events.  I was fortunate that the traditional winter recess allowed me 6 weeks to really get across my brief.

Some of the highlights for me of the past 100 days have been:

  • securing matched Commonwealth investment of $144 million for the Majura Parkway – to reduce congestion and create a business and freight hub for the region
  • passing the 2011-12 ACT Budget which will deliver record levels of investment in education, health, jobs, transport and infrastructure.
  • outlining a clear statement of government priorities to be measured against every 6 months (you can see them here)
  • finalising the 10 year Infrastructure Plan
  • signing off on national health reform which will deliver an additional $260 million to the ACT health system
  • renewing the examination of light rail as an option for new planning for Northbourne Ave,
  • representing the ACT at COAG meeting
  • deciding to market test the new government accommodation options in Gungahlin and Civic
  • reinvigorating NSW/ACT cross border relations
  • publishing a weekly account of cabinet outcomes online
  • starting the development of a new open government website (still in development phase)
  • holding the first Twitter Cabinet with the second one (due to popular demand) being held on 30th August @ 7pm #actvcc

These are just some of the highlights and you will be pleased to know that there haven’t been too many lowlights.  If you’d like to know more about what all the Directorates have been working on over the past 3 months click here.

I am really looking forward to this blog and I hope it provides you with the information you want and some insight into your government at work.  I also hope that it becomes a two way street of communication.

I am conscious of the fact that the work I am doing is building on the foundations laid by the former Stanhope Government and I feel incredibly privileged to be the Chief Minister at such an exciting time for our city and our home.  We live in a beautiful part of the world and I am incredibly optimistic about our future.

I hope that I have been able to show over the last 100 days the way in which I intend to govern.  This is a government that is listening and will take the necessary steps to ensure our community and our city is the best it can be.

I look forward to continuing our conversation…..and please provide me with feedback on what you think of this blog, and what you’d like to see on it.

Kind regards

Katy Gallagher

p.s thanks to Jimi Bostock and Adina Cirson for making this blog happen