Page 125 - Week 01 - Wednesday, 9 February 2022

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community receive the support they need. The ESA Commissioner has given me her assurance that the ESA’s team of teams will continue to provide necessary support to ACT Health and all other areas of ACT government, where required, to keep our community safe and enable the effective response we have seen to date for the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Canberra community can also be reassured that the Emergency Services Agency will not be interrupted, and we remain well prepared to respond to all emergencies. All of our ESA personnel, including our firefighters and paramedics, are continuing their business as usual to support the community, working 24/7 to respond to calls for assistance.

In closing, I would like to pass on my sincere gratitude to not only the volunteers and staff of the ESA and ACT Health but all directorates and agencies across the ACT government for their outstanding professionalism and dedication during this trying time for our community. I present the following paper:

ACT Emergency Service Agency support to assist the ACT Government COVID-19 response—Ministerial statement, 9 February 2022.

I move:

That the Assembly take note of the paper.

MS DAVIDSON (Murrumbidgee—Assistant Minister for Seniors, Veterans, Families and Community Services, Minister for Disability, Minister for Justice Health and Minister for Mental Health) (10.09): I rise to support Minister Gentleman and acknowledge the contribution of the ESA in the response to COVID-19. As mentioned yesterday, COVID-19 has had significant economic impacts on Canberrans, as well as health effects.

The Canberra Relief Network was established by the Community Services Directorate in response to the first COVID lockdown in 2020, as we saw that some people in our community were experiencing financial difficulties which led to a need for food relief. CRN provided hampers of non-perishable foods and other key goods such as nappies and hygiene products, working with key community partners including Canberra City Care, Canberra Region Community Services, Communities@Work, Community Services#1, Companion House, Gordon Community Centre, Gugan Gulwan Youth Aboriginal Corporation, Holly Cross Tuckerbox, MARSS Australia, Mustard Seed Uniting Food Pantry, Red Cross, St James Uniting Church, St John’s Care, St Paul’s Ginninderra Anglican Church, the St Vincent De Paul Society, the Pantry at Watson, Tuggeranong Uniting Church, UnitingCare Kippax, the University of Canberra Food Pantry, Wesley Uniting Church and Woden Community Service.

I would like to thank the dedicated staff in the Community Services Directorate for their long hours and creative thinking in overcoming tricky logistics issues to make the CRN such a success; Volunteering ACT, who demonstrated great empathy and care in taking calls from Canberrans in need at the CRN’s connect centre; ESA staff and SES volunteers who managed deliveries during the initial stage of the lockdown;

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