World first social media event

My government is always looking for new and innovative ways to engage with Canberrans and on Monday 31 August the ACT Cabinet hosted the world's first Periscope and Twitter Cabinet

This event kicked off a big week of community engagement, as we also hosted a Pop-up Cabinet in Woden on Wednesday and Thursday where we were able to meet with residents of the Woden area to discuss the issues that are important to them.  

The ACT government has been hosting Twitter Cabinets since 2011, providing members of the community with the opportunity to speak directly with Ministers via Twitter. The ACT was the first jurisdiction to host a Twitter Cabinet, which is a demonstration of the ACT Government’s commitment to embracing innovation to connect with the community. 

Canberra is a digital city and Canberrans are early adopters of new technology. We value being connected, and Canberrans lead the way in the use of technology.  

Our vision for Canberra is that it is a leading digital city, and one thing my government prides itself on is our accessibility online.  We all regularly speak with Canberrans via Twitter or Facebook, answering their questions or following up with Directorates where we need to.

Hosting Twitter Cabinet is another opportunity for the Canberra community to engage with Cabinet online. For one hour, we host an ask-me-anything style event, where members of the community can participate either by asking questions or by following the hashtag. This makes it really easy for people who may not wish to ask a question directly to still be involved and engaged by following the conversation online and see what is being discussed. 

The Periscope component of this Cabinet meeting also allowed Canberrans, Australians and even people overseas to watch the proceedings of the evening live, and to ask questions via this platform as well. The Periscope feed was hosted by Amanda Whitley from HerCanberra, and it attracted 515 unique viewers throughout the hour.

During the August Twitter Cabinet, we received 349 tweets from 107 unique tweeters. During the hour we were able to provide72 responses which was a huge effort from the members of my team. The 19 questions we weren’t able to respond to during the hour we have now followed up and provided a response to also.  We received and responded to questions on issues including making housing more accessible, the revitalisation of Tuggeranong, gaming regulation, the location of the next Pop-up Cabinet, road works, urban renewal projects, upgrades to local shops and town centres, parking and sports funding.

The topics raised were incredibly varied, which clearly shows me we have a switched on and engaged community, who value opportunities such as Twitter and Periscope Cabinet to discuss the issues that matter to them.

We know our community is tech savvy, with Canberra having the highest rates of Twitter usage in country.  Through CBRcabinet we are able to engage with people on the platform they are already using, and it’s a tradition we look forward to continuing.