Page 830 - Week 03 - Wednesday, 6 April 2022

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because it has eased the administrative workload of client service officers, housing practitioners and housing managers, and provided more time to help and support clients with other matters.

As with any change, there have been a few issues with the transition. Unfortunately, it appears that some rebate applications were missed or were sent off to an incorrect area or team for processing. There were a few instances where Housing ACT has missed the processing of the rebate, and that has been actioned as a priority. Once this was identified, the actions that have occurred have included a refund via direct deposit into a client’s bank account, issuing an emergency assistance voucher for groceries or a referral and link to a community service partner who may be able to assist. We recognise that it has created stress and issues for some clients who have unfortunately been impacted by this, and we will continue to make sure that the process is working smoothly and that we respond to any issues that we identify as quickly as we can.

MR CAIN: Minister, how often are tenants required to fill in a rental rebate?

MS VASSAROTTI: Thank you for the question. I will take that question on notice.

MS CASTLEY: Minister, why are you exacerbating the cost of living crisis for these tenants by wrongly deducting from their accounts in such a heartless way?

MS VASSAROTTI: Thank you for the question. I really disagree that we are trying to exacerbate it. We are actually trying to make the process easier and smoother, so we can provide additional support for clients on a range of issues. It is really unfortunate that in the transition there were some tenants that were impacted. We are sorry for that impact, and we aimed to respond as quickly as we could to ensure that that impact was minimised.

Old Bus Depot Markets—reopening

DR PATERSON: My question is to the Minister for the Arts. Minister, can you please update the Assembly on the reopening of the Old Bus Depot Markets in Kingston on Sunday, 20 March?

MS CHEYNE: I thank Dr Paterson for the question. Like many of us here, I have been eagerly looking forward to the reopening of the Old Bus Depot Markets over the last 18 months. This popular Sunday attraction is housed in the former transport depot in Kingston, which has been impacted by a series of events over the past two years, including the devastating hailstorm which wreaked havoc across the facility and destroyed over 200 skylights, followed by the impact of COVID on the renovation program and the viability of public gatherings and, finally, delays resulting from the discovery of lead dust. Through it all the ACT government has worked productively with the Old Bus Depot Markets owners and stallholders to create a more functional and safer community space to realise the historical location’s full potential.

The Old Bus Depot Markets successfully recommenced trading on Sunday, 20 March to resoundingly positive community and stallholder feedback, with, I believe, around 4,000 people in attendance. It has reclaimed its well-deserved position as a Sunday

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