Page 154 - Week 01 - Wednesday, 9 February 2022

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MS CASTLEY: Minister, when can the residents living along these priority paths expect proper footpaths?

MR STEEL: I thank the member for her question. Of course, we take the feedback on board and that feeds into our future program. The government also has a range of priorities in the active travel space. Looking forward, part of our transport strategy is to go out and consult further and strategically with the community about what particular cycle and active travel links they would like to see through the development of a Canberra cycle network map and multimodal network plan later this year. That is going to inform the future investment of infrastructure money into the projects that really matter in terms of supporting that shift to active travel. We are really looking forward to having that conversation with the community. I encourage all members to put forward their ideas on those pieces of work.

COVID-19 pandemic—vulnerable people

MR DAVIS: My question is to the minister responsible for social recovery, Minister Davidson. I have been contacted by a number of my constituents who have been subjected to a shadow lockdown due to their heightened risks of COVID complications and related anxiety. We also know that mobility data and businesses are reporting what has been described as an economic shadow lockdown. What is the government doing to support vulnerable people to be safer in their engagement with their communities and to rebuild their social connection?

MS DAVIDSON: Thank you for the question, and thank you for acknowledging those in our community who are experiencing a hidden lockdown. People with disability, including those with mental health conditions; older people; carers; people who are immune compromised; and families with new babies or who are pregnant, are all having to stay in isolation at the moment because of the case numbers we are experiencing in the community. That is a lot of people who are affected. We have 80,000 people with disability in this community, 50,000 Canberrans who are aged 65 years or older, 50,000 carers, around 6,000 births each year, and around one in five people with a mental health condition. There are also thousands of health and emergency services, community sector and care workers who are isolating more than they would otherwise to reduce the risk of community transmission.

We have had lots of community engagement to work with organisations and care providers who can help us understand the impact on those most at risk. That includes webinars and roundtables with disability, seniors and NGO organisations so that we can listen to their feedback and understand what they are experiencing, and we have responded to that. We have already distributed more than 12,000 rapid antigen tests to disability care providers. We have provided priority vaccination for care workers, for people with disability and for their carers through the Access and Sensory clinic at Weston. We are providing food relief through the Canberra Relief Network and supporting community food relief services.

We are providing support for PPE access for aged-care and disability care organisations, and we are providing resources to community organisations to provide

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