Page 94 - Week 01 - Tuesday, 8 February 2022

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MS CHEYNE (Ginninderra—Assistant Minister for Economic Development, Minister for the Arts, Minister for Business and Better Regulation, Minister for Human Rights and Minister for Multicultural Affairs) (3.47): I move the amendment circulated in my name:

Omit all text after “That this Assembly”, substitute:

“(1) notes:

(a) a ‘V-shaped recovery’ in the economy was observed following the conclusion of the ACT lockdown in October 2021, noting that there were different impacts across different industries;

(b) the global emergence of the Omicron-variant of COVID-19 in late November 2021 has resulted in:

(i) significant staff shortages across sectors, leaving some businesses being closed for a period of time; and

(ii) some Canberrans choosing to stay home more than usual; and

(c) despite limited ongoing restrictions and nation-leading vaccination rates, some small businesses are experiencing the effects of intermittent periods of lower than usual consumer confidence;

(2) further notes:

(a) despite the pandemic, retail trade figures have grown each year from $6.14 billion in 2019, to $6.67 billion in 2020 and $6.78 billion in 2021;

(b) through the pandemic, the ACT has had one of the strongest performing labour markets of any jurisdiction around the country looking at single touch payroll, job vacancies, payroll tax receipts, and the labour force survey;

(c) for 2020-21, ABS data shows the ACT had a 5.8 percent increase in the number of businesses, the largest growth in any State or Territory;

(d) ABS retail trade turnover in the ACT increased by 19.2 percent in the month of November 2021 to $616 million, the highest monthly outcome ever recorded and higher than its three-year average of $542 million, and this record spend was sustained through December with $596.6 million spent at ACT businesses during the month;

(e) ABS retail sales data for the December quarter shows the ACT had a 12.4 percent rise, led by spending in discretionary industries and well ahead of the national average;

(f) over the course of the pandemic, the ACT Government has provided almost half a billion dollars in support to local businesses, including direct financial support to almost 12 000 local businesses; and

(g) despite the Commonwealth Treasurer announcing an end to emergency support, the ACT Government believes some support for businesses is still required and has extended:

(i) the closing date of the Small Business Hardship Scheme from 31 January to 28 February;

(ii) the food business registration fee waiver from 31 March to 30 June;

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