Disengaged government on community engagement

johnboy 7 October 2010 6

A very strange media release notionally from Katy Gallagher, but quoting one Simon Kinsmore as an “ACT Government spokesperson” is letting us know how the Government proposes to talk to its people.

a revised community engagement protocol has been developed – Engaging Canberrans – A Guide to Community Engagement. The draft document promotes the adoption of a more participatory approach to engagement and provides practical guidance on the effective use of a variety of engagement methods and tools. The protocol will be used as a source document for ongoing community engagement training for ACT Government staff.

Peak bodies, community groups and the general community will be invited to provide feedback on the draft community engagement protocol from 7 October to 2 December 2010.

A copy of the protocol is meant to be on the community engagement page but for the life of me I can’t see it.

UPDATE: Hurrah the draft guide has appeared. You have until 2 December to comment.

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6 Responses to Disengaged government on community engagement
54-11 54-11 7:22 pm 08 Oct 10

Anyone who tries to “engage” with the ACT Govt is wasting their time. After the last election Katy specifically said that they had learned their lesson and would in future treat Canberrans with more respect. Since then there has been a continuing litany of arrogance and incompetence.

Guys, save your time and your sanity and forego the “pleasure” of getting involved in any sham consultation.

housebound housebound 5:17 pm 07 Oct 10

Legislative Assembly: Government by the Jon, through the Jon, for the Jon. And probably oh so very true.

On a more serious note, though, this community engagement guide is a very poor replacement for the one theoretically in use. See http://www.communityengagement.act.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0018/71118/community_engagement_manual.pdf for a copy.

Page 3 of that version has a really neat step-by-step guide on how community engagement should be done. Anyone who has ever been engaged with (consulted or whatever) by the ACT government will know the ACT Government never followed its own rules. Maybe that’s why they dropped the most useful page in the entire publication.

johnboy johnboy 4:37 pm 07 Oct 10

Skidbladnir said :

(Also, who is Ms Gallaghersaid?)

That would be a panicked global replacement, when first published it was all “Simon Kinsmore”.

Fortunately I have the emailled version, time for a screenshot.

Skidbladnir Skidbladnir 4:32 pm 07 Oct 10

Whichever team is responsible for crafting media releases and proofreading them on Katy’s behalf ought to be quietly put onto lighter duties…
Almost every tenth word is either community, engagement, or the combination of both. (27 instances in eight paragraphs totalling less than 300 words?)

While I realise its the subject of the media release, nobody talks like that in practice, nobody writes like that if they are trying to be taken seriously, and it is terrible style for a government trying to communicate more effectively.
(Also, who is Ms Gallaghersaid?)

Woody Mann-Caruso Woody Mann-Caruso 1:57 pm 07 Oct 10

Possibly based on this report.

Grail Grail 12:29 pm 07 Oct 10

Democracy: Government by the people, through the people, for the people.

Legislative Assembly: Government by the Jon, through the Jon, for the Jon.

Community Engagement: trying to change Legislative Assembly to a Democracy by adding a coat of paint.

But seriously, you have to wonder what’s going on inside the Legislative Assembly when they come up with wording like the following, making it sound as though talking to the people you have authority over about the things you’re going to be doing, is a new idea:

Community participation is integral to recognising human rights and strengthening civil society. It promotes trust and respect between the community and government by enabling stakeholders to have a say in decisions that affect their lives. It enhances openness and accountability on the part of government.

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