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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 02 Hansard (Wednesday, 10 February 2021) . . Page.. 362 ..


This amendment will reduce the risk that an instrument will be repealed due to administrative oversight in the context of a highly restricted time frame.

COVID-19 has posed unprecedented challenges here, in Australia and around the world. Along with the exemplary effort of the Canberra community, the ACT government’s measures so far have proved highly successful in containing the outbreak in the ACT.

The government’s priority is protecting and creating local jobs, directly through the Jobs for Canberrans Fund, and more broadly through our Jobs and Economic Recovery Plan.

We established the Jobs for Canberrans Fund and have injected nearly $30 million into that fund to create secure and meaningful job opportunities for those who need it the most. This included providing employment opportunities for people in casual or semiskilled work who had lost their jobs during the pandemic or had been significantly impacted due to COVID-19. We targeted this with a particular focus on people who fell through the cracks, who were ignored, overlooked or not considered worthy by the Commonwealth’s JobKeeper and JobSeeker schemes.

The return of domestic tourism, as has been discussed in this debate, is of course a key pillar of our economic recovery. Around 90 per cent of our city’s visitors are from the Australian market.

Late last year I announced that the government will continue its support for Canberrans and businesses as we recover from the effects of the pandemic, by extending a range of measures that were due to finish at the end of the calendar year.

Included in this is an extension of residential tenancy relief measures until 30 June 2021, to ensure that residential landlords and tenants still being affected by the pandemic continue to be supported. Commercial tenancies relief was also extended to 31 January 2021 to align with the current end date of the National Cabinet mandatory code of conduct.

As the budget figures have indicated, and the latest economic data, the recovery of private sector activity in the ACT is ongoing. It is stronger than in the rest of the country but there is still a way to go, and that will continue through 2021.

An extra $63 million will help the ACT stay on top of the COVID-19 pandemic, with funding contained in yesterday’s budget including a rollout of vaccines for our region. The ACT will take responsibility for areas of regional New South Wales, in addition to residents within our own territory, as part of the national rollout schedule.

The amendments in this bill support the ACT government’s continuing commitment to keeping Canberra safe. I can reconfirm that if there is any significant emergency response needed—if any of the measures are used—the government will make that very clear publicly, through the media, and I will notify the Leader of the Opposition if any of these powers are exercised as soon as that is practicable, so that the Leader


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