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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 08 Hansard (Wednesday, 4 August 2021) . . Page.. 2310 ..


When we announced this in July, initially we offered this for one month but, having continued to monitor the situation, we have extended it for another month until the end of August. Late last week all current on-licence holders who had a permit to sell takeaway alcohol were emailed noting the extension until the end of August. And earlier this week all other on-licence holders who have not yet taken up the initiative were emailed to again highlight that the takeaway opportunity is available to them. If there are businesses still interested, they should contact the Access Canberra liquor licensing team. This is easy via email at ACliquor@act.gov.au or by calling 6207 2343, and I give my assurance that this will be turned around very quickly.

I absolutely support what the Minister for Health and indeed the national Chief Medical Officer have said about federal parliamentarians not going out and about, for all the reasons that have been canvassed. But there is nothing stopping them engaging with businesses by ordering in, and we absolutely encourage them to do that while they are here.

There are other initiatives too which have been encouraging Canberrans who can to get out and about and have been providing them with entertainment options like Amp It Up!—an important stimulus to the broader sector but one intrinsically tied to the night-time economy and to the hospitality sector.

As a government, we have been consistently employing the levers to encourage Canberrans to support local and to provide that support to businesses and then the levers to encourage Canberrans to spend local, providing incentives to get out and about but also recognising that if Canberrans do have some hesitancy with that or simply cannot then employing other measures like the off-licence permits so that they can still support local.

We will continue to engage with industry stakeholders on what they need and we will continue to be responsive to conditions. And it is for this reason that we have removed the dates Ms Castley included in her motion for how long initiatives should be in place. This is firstly because several of these are already in place and because the dates she has included appear to not be based on any industry data or forecasts; so they are nothing more than arbitrary. We need to be responsive, and that is what this amendment allows for.

What Ms Castley’s motion touches on is that when any major area goes into extended lockdown, like Sydney has, this does have broad impacts on the entire national economy, which are out of our immediate control. What that means is that, when Sydney locks down, it is not just Sydney that is affected. It means that the largest domestic pool of tourists are not travelling. This has obvious impacts.

It has always been the federal government’s role to provide the bulk of financial support across Australia for employers and employees suffering hardship due to the pandemic. It took them a while but we have seen the federal government finally start to step up to that effect in Sydney and some regional areas, but they need to acknowledge that millions of residents locked down for months is affecting tourism, and thus accommodation and some hospitality providers right across the country, including the ACT. The amendment reflects that fact.


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