Working with communities to change Tasmania Together Tue 9 October 2012 Lara Giddings Premier Changes to Tasmania Together will improve the way that the State Government engages with the community and responds to their needs, the Premier, Lara Giddings, said today. The changes will bring the work of Tasmania Together within the Department of Premier and Cabinet to enable better links between data collection, policy development and community consultation. "When TT was introduced 11 years ago it was ground-breaking because it gave us more information than ever on what Tasmanians wanted for their community," Ms Giddings said. "Tasmanians were consulted, literally in their own living rooms, on their goals for their State -- from crime rates to poverty levels to literacy and numeracy attainment. "From that work benchmarks were set and reported on to see how we were tracking in achieving the vision of the community. "We recognise that Tasmania is changing, so it is only fitting that we make changes to the Tasmania Together process." Ms Giddings said the TT Progress Board would be replaced with a Tasmania Together Unit within DPAC, with the savings used to focus on more priorities. "The State Government will partner with the Australian Bureau of Statistics on the 'Stats Matter' project, which will improve our capacity to access and interpret high-quality data and provide a solid evidence base for policy decisions. "The Tasmania Together benchmarks will be reviewed to ensure they align with the Government's policy priorities. "Most importantly, we will also develop a new framework for community consultation to ensure that all government agencies effectively engage with communities on decisions that affect them" Ms Giddings made the announcement at the Ravenswood Child and Family Centre, which is a fantastic example of what can be achieved by using data to identify areas of need, followed by consultation to ensure the community is involved in policy solutions. "The Child and Family Centres have showcased exactly what can be achieved by giving people a direct say in the delivery of services. I want to see Government working in this way with all communities. "The Ravenswood Child and Family Centre offers young children and their families access to high-quality services that are matched to local needs." Ms Giddings said the Government would continue to report publicly on progress in major policy areas through a range of intergovernmental agreements and agency report cards, such as those released by the Departments of Education and Health and Human Services. Ms Giddings paid tribute to the vision of the late Jim Bacon and the work of all Tasmania Together Progress Board members, both past and present. "Without their passion and commitment, the achievements of Tasmania Together would not have been possible," she said. "Through the changes that I have announced, we are building on and expanding the work of Tasmania Together to empower communities to improve their own wellbeing." The Government will introduce a bill in the current session of Parliament to repeal the Tasmania Together Progress Board Act 2001.