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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 02 Hansard (Thursday, 11 February 2021) . . Page.. 461 ..

MS CHEYNE: This question goes to the heart of the government’s agenda and the heart of the budget. We are focused on helping Canberrans drive the recovery from the pandemic. Local businesses and clubs throughout Canberra are at the forefront of that effort. In December the government trialled the ChooseCBR digital discount scheme. Canberrans redeemed $310,000 worth of discounts on transactions, and those transactions totalled over $1.9 million. This has a multiplier effect of 6.3.

This budget allows for the full rollout of the scheme this year, meaning $2 million is available in digital discounts. This will further encourage discretionary consumer spending, increase consumer and business confidence and ensure that spending goes straight to the Canberra businesses who did it tough in 2020.

The budget also supports local businesses in the hospitality sector, which was hit particularly hard by COVID-19. The government will continue to waive or reduce a number of fees, saving cafes and restaurants an estimated $2.25 million. The food business registration fee will be waived for a further 12 months, through to the end of March 2022, benefiting over 3,000 businesses. The outdoor dining permit fee will continue to be waived for a further year, through to the end of June 2022, benefiting 270 businesses. Liquor licensing fees for “on” liquor and for general liquor licensed venues will be reduced by 50 per cent for a year, through to 1 April 2022, benefiting over 570 businesses.

DR PATERSON: Minister, how does the budget provide longer term support to businesses working through the recovery?

MS CHEYNE: I thank Dr Paterson for her question and her interest in business recovery. The recovery period provides an opportunity to pursue reforms that will ensure that Canberra’s economic growth continues. This budget creates the better regulation task force. The task force’s purpose is to review the business environment in the ACT and pursue reforms that will make doing business in the ACT easier. Our economy is changing, driven by some of the most innovative businesses in the country, and the government is committed to assisting them, together with our more traditional businesses, to do what they do best within a regulatory environment that just makes things easier.


MR DAVIS: My question is to the Minister for Sport and Recreation and relates to the Mpowerdome. Minister, on reflection, I fear my question to you on Tuesday lacked clarity, so I thought I would ask a more specific question to ensure a more specific answer. Will the government commit to at least exploring the option of acquiring the Mpowerdome?

MS BERRY: No, not at this stage. The Mpowerdome story is a long one and started before I was Minister for Sport and Recreation. Mr Rattenbury will recall some of the difficulties with dealing with Mpowerdome and trying to ensure that that for-profit commercial organisation could stay operational and offer multi-sports to the Tuggeranong community but more broadly the Canberra community as well.

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