Greens Minister Shane Rattenbury today welcomed the opportunity to connect with the Canberra community through the Sport and Recreation portfolio, and expressed his confidence that the ACT Government would continue to prioritise developing more and better public housing.
“The past 18 months as Minister for Housing have been a privilege and incredibly rewarding. Public housing is an important part of the fabric of Canberra neighbourhoods. I would like to take this opportunity to thank and congratulate Housing ACT for their important work supporting over 30,000 tenants,” said Mr Rattenbury.
“It’s been inspiring to work with the community sector to develop new and innovative responses to the issue of housing affordability, and to start the process of developing the ACT Government’s first strategic plan for community housing.
“Similarly, I am pleased that we have now implemented a new tenancy management policy that recognises the diversity of tenants who apply for public housing and their different needs and experiences. Not only does this give guidance on how we direct resources and time, but it means we can respond more promptly to vulnerable tenants or to impacts on neighbours when they arise.
“I hand over the housing portfolio today with the confidence that the whole ACT Government is committed to growing social housing, renewing our existing properties and maintaining our salt and pepper approach. This week’s Cabinet decision solidified the Government’s commitment to increase our supply of affordable and low cost housing and to improve and renew our ageing public housing stock.
“I also hand over the Ageing portfolio today. As Minister for Ageing we organised the first ever Australian Conference on Age-friendly Cities and Communities, which saw delegates from 40 local governments and all states and territories come together to share ideas and plans to make our cities more age friendly. As Minister for Ageing I have supported the development of age-friendly suburbs to better respond to the needs of people of all ages, especially older people.
“I welcome the opportunity to connect with our community through the Sport and Recreation Portfolio. I have a personal passion for sport that is shared by many in our community, with Canberra boasting one of the highest participation levels in community sport in the country.
“In a society that can appear individualistic, opportunities for building community through sport are increasingly important.
“Sport is recognised in schools and universities all over the world as an important tool for young people to develop leadership skills, self confidence and learn how to work in teams. But it’s not just young people who benefit from community sport. In a country where sedentary office jobs are becoming more common, community sport is important for our health, and fun, for all age groups and all sectors of our society.
“With such a big recreational cycling community in Canberra, I’m looking forward to exploring the ways in which the TAMS and Sports portfolios can complement each other. Not only can we continue to expand the cycling and shared path network, but now we can look at ways to connect the community with the city and our sportsgrounds.
“I look forward to meeting the school groups, sporting clubs and families over the coming weeks and months, to hear about people’s ideas and experiences.
“Finally, I am pleased to continue as the Minister for Territory and Municipal Services, Corrections and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs.
“As the Minister for Corrections, I have come to develop a deep respect for the complex and meaningful work that consistently takes place behind the scenes. ACT Corrective Services is much more than simply the jail and I am looking forward to continuing to work with all AMC staff, Community Corrections and the Throughcare unit over the coming years.
“It is privilege to continue as the Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs. I have learnt from the strong and diverse Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population in the ACT and am committed to continuing to work with community to provide effective services. The government has significant responsibilities in closing the gap in life expectancy, health and educational outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. In particular, I am looking forward to the exciting development of the first whole of government agreement with the Community, and working more closely with the Elected Body.
“The portfolio of Territory and Municipal Services is an incredibly diverse portfolio and encompasses everything from ACTION buses to conserving parklands, rescuing stray dogs to providing library services. I welcome the addition of the arboretum to the TAMS portfolio, and I am pleased that I will be able to continue to deliver services to such a diverse cross section of our community,” concluded Minister Rattenbury.