ACT Greens call on Government to commit to participatory budgeting pilot

Caroline Le Couteur

Today the ACT Greens will put forward a motion in the Assembly calling on the ACT Government to step up its commitment to community engagement and commit to a participatory budgeting pilot for the 2018/2019 Budget.

“Participatory budgeting involves citizens in the decision-making that will shape our city’s future,” said Greens MLA Caroline Le Couteur.

“Participatory budgeting offers citizens a chance to learn, debate and deliberate on major government projects. It ensures that a cross-section of the community is heard, who can then consider competing priorities and make informed choices.

“The government currently has a budget consultation process that considers submissions from peak bodies and community stakeholders.

“This is important, but when it comes to budget setting another step is necessary—and that’s setting priorities on government spending.”

In recent years successful participatory budgeting processes have been underway at council levels in New South Wales, Victoria, and Western Australia.

Ms Le Couteur said the Government could commit the discretionary portion of the City Services budget—an estimated 20 per cent of the total City Services budget—to the participatory budgeting pilot process.

The Greens-Labor Parliamentary Agreement commits the Government to ‘improve community input’ as part of its Budget Review.

“It’s time for the ACT to join this growing movement, and set new standards when it comes to community engagement.

“Stronger citizen participation in decision-making will lead to better outcomes for all Canberrans, and participatory budgeting will help make this a reality,” Ms Le Couteur added.