Project status: In Progress


How to have YourSay:

The Better Suburbs Citizen’s Forum has started and involves randomly selected participants from the community who will work together to develop a vision and an agreed set of priorities for future city servicing. The Forum will be guided by previously gathered community input as they develop the content for the Better Suburbs Statement.

At the end of the Forum, the group will develop a Better Suburbs Statement – a four year plan that outlines the priorities to improve city services in Canberra.

Anyone is welcome to register to attend the Forum as an observer by:

Sending an email to and requesting to attend a Forum session

Find out more about the Citizens' Forum.

We are looking at:

By 2030, we're heading towards Canberra being home to 500,000 people. Our suburbs will look and feel different and our city services will need to respond to changing expectations. How we use our land for housing and other purposes, move around our city, care for our environment and have services and space that allow us (and our animals) to be social will be different.

Decisions about our city services need to be made now for the future. They will have to balance community needs with being financially sustainable. A Better Suburbs Statement will give us a shared vision for city servicing in 2030, along with short term priorities that will lead us to this goal.

Most – but not all – city services are within the scope of the Better Suburbs Program. The services included in the program are:

  • Domestic animal services
  • Construction and maintenance of footpaths and cycle paths
  • Construction and maintenance of roads
  • Parks and public amenity
  • Shopping precincts
  • Recreational facilities
  • Stormwater management
  • Street lighting
  • Traffic management
  • Trees and shrubs
  • Waste management

We will use your views to:

Your feedback from Phase 1 and 2 consultation is being used to present discussion topics in Phase 3, the Citizens' Forum.

The survey findings, Kitchen Discussion Guide feedback and Citizens' Forum discussions will contribute to the development of a Better Suburbs Statement which will be released in September 2018.

Weekend 1

Citizens' Forum

Day 1 - Saturday 21 July

The morning session was a bus tour where participants were exposed to City Services business activity firsthand. Commentary on the bus was provided by government officials and an open dialogue of Q and A was encouraged.

On return to the venue, the afternoon session allowed Forum members to consider their insights from the bus tour and a further presentation by Deputy Director General, City Services Division, Jim Corrigan.

View the full Day 1 agenda.

Weekend 2

Citizen's Forum

The Citizen’s Forum has reached the halfway point and the group continued to learn about the city servicing activities undertaken by Transport Canberra and City Services.

By the end of this weekend, they had explored their thinking about the facts, benefits and concerns about each servicing activity in the program scope. They went on to start identifying a vision for city servicing and develop some preliminary recommendations that will be further considered in the final weekend, as they develop the Better Suburbs Statement.

Day 2 - Saturday 4 August

The day started with a presentation on TCCS priorities and decision making by Ben McHugh, Executive Director, City Places and Infrastructure.

The citizens then spent the rest of the day building upon the knowledge learnt on the bus tour during day one of the forum. TCCS staff from 14 different business areas facilitated small groups discussions on the facts, benefits and concerns of the different business area. Insights were recorded on large boards, for the whole group to refer to in future sessions.

View the full Day 2 agenda.

Day 3 – Sunday 5 August

On arrival the group took part in a fun exercise to explore and understand the interactions between the business areas within the program, using colourful balls of wool. Executives of TCCS directorate shared typical business scenarios, whilst a small group of participants representing the 14 business areas used wool to show the connections being discussed. The end result demonstrated the complex network of relationships that occur within the city servicing functions to deliver outcomes.

To fulfill the commitment made about the results of the kitchen table conversations being shared directly into the Forum activities, a presentation was given by the Better Suburbs Project Lead, outlining the preliminary results of the kitchen table discussion guides. A final summary report will be developed shortly. If you would like to be kept updated on the program and the release of this report, please sign up for email updates.

In the afternoon, the group reviewed the material developed on Day 2 and started exploring a city servicing future vision. By the end of the session, the group had considered early recommendations for the Better Suburbs Statement and had begun work on writing the first part of the statement, using a shared document.

View the full Day 3 agenda.

The next days of the Citizen’s Forum are Saturday 18 and Sunday 19 August.

Play spaces forum

Invitations to register

Registrations have now closed.

The Better Suburbs Play Spaces Forum will be held on Sunday 19 August 2018 from 9.00am to 4.30pm at CIT Reid, 37 Constitution Avenue, Canberra.

10 members of the Canberra community will join the Better Suburbs Citizens’ Forum members to:

  • determine community priorities for the management of play spaces in Canberra
  • develop recommended criteria to consider when making decisions about play spaces
  • allocate $1.9 million towards play spaces for the 2018-19 financial year.

Submissions from community organisations

Submissions have now closed.

Community organisations were invited to provide a one-page submission to the Forum on:

  1. The value of play spaces for your organisation, your programs or the communities you work with
  2. Any other comments or recommendations you would like to communicate to the Forum.

All submissions will be provided to the Forum members.