ACT Labor and ACT Greens – first progress report on the 8th Assembly, Parliamentary Agreement.

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Joint Communiqué

ACT Chief Minister Katy Gallagher and Greens Minister, Shane Rattenbury have today released a progress report on the Parliamentary Agreement (PA).

The PA is a shared agenda to be implemented over the four year term of the government, covering all portfolio areas.

A review of progress on meeting the commitments made by both parties after the October election last year has shown that there has been substantial progress made across the range of commitments including draft legislation, funded initiatives and policy development.

The joint approach and strong working relationship between ACT Labor and ACT Greens has meant that significant progress has been made in the first nine months of the parliamentary term, with the majority of items in the Agreement on track and on time; many having been funded through the 2013-14 Budget.

Some examples of progress made include:

• Common Ground – A joint initiative between the State and Federal Governments, Common Ground Housing provides permanent homes and the support to help disadvantaged Canberrans achieve stability and improve their lives. Common Ground takes people direct from homelessness and follows through with the support they require to stay housed, improve their health and live independently. The project will establish accommodation for up to 40 individuals or couples who are experiencing or are at risk of homelessness.

• Capital Metro – a light rail system that will, in its first stage, connect Gungahlin to the city, transforming our city and enhancing its sustainability. The project will increase economic and development opportunities and create jobs.

National Plan for School Improvement – the ACT was one of the first jurisdictions to sign up to these vital reforms that will see a fairer funding system for all schools, and provide the best possible opportunities for all Canberra students

• Considerable progress has also been made on the integrity reforms included in the agreement, the ADJR Bill is now before the Assembly ready to be debated. Legislation to create officers of the Assembly, and to create a new FOI scheme are in the final stages of development and will be presented to the Assembly shortly.

• Legislation for marriage equality is also being developed and will be presented to the Assembly during the Spring sittings.

“I am particularly pleased at the progress we have made we have made on many items in the Parliamentary Agreement and the strong working relationships we have created across government to get behind various policies, programs and major transformational projects that we committed to at the 2012 election and in our agreement with the ACT Greens,” the Chief Minister said.

“From my point of view as the chair of cabinet, the transition to new cabinet arrangements has worked smoothly, ensuring that traditional cabinet processes remain robust whilst at the same time allowing some flexibility when consensus agreement can’t be reached,” the Chief Minister said.

Minister Rattenbury said that he was delighted as the Minister for Housing to have been able to personally involved in the Common Ground project to provide a new model of care and support for our homeless community.

“The policies outlined in the Agreement reflect our ongoing commitment to building a sustainable society, supporting those in our community who need extra assistance, developing our city to be vibrant and diverse, but also to have clever urban design that supports resilience in the face of climate change, and protects our bushland and biodiversity,” said Mr Rattenbury.

“The transition to having a two party cabinet is working well, giving us the breadth for disagreements from time to time whilst working towards a consensus where possible.

“There is obviously still work to be done and there are elements to be ironed out on a few items, but overall the relationship is working well and most items are on track,” Minister Rattenbury concluded.

Statement Ends

Date: 4 August 2013

Media Contact:

ACT Chief Minister: Patrick Cronan Ph: 6205 0401 (w) 0432 758 224 (m)

Minister Rattenbury: Ali Jaques Ph: 6205 3897 (w) 0481 035 764 (m)