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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 02 Hansard (Thursday, 11 February 2021) . . Page.. 473 ..


own. If the same investment or partnerships were made across the country, including by the federal government, we could do so much more. This is not an ACT situation alone.

Government—assistance for veterans and seniors

MS LAWDER: My question is to the Chief Minister. On 3 December 2020 you were asked if you would commit to re-establishing a dedicated minister for seniors and veterans. You said that “if it was of such importance” you would update the administrative orders accordingly. In the public hearings schedule for the upcoming annual reports and estimates hearings, there is still no minister or output class recorded for veterans and seniors. Chief Minister, is your failure to update the administrative orders an admission that you do not consider this to be a matter of “such importance”?

MR BARR: I believe the administrative orders were, in fact, updated on 1 February.

MS LAWDER: Chief Minister, what has your government actually done for veterans and seniors organisations since disbanding the ministry for the Tenth Assembly?

MR BARR: That would be less than a hundred days ago, so I will take the detail on notice but observe that the government, through the budget released on Tuesday, has provided ongoing support in those portfolio areas.

MR HANSON: Chief Minister, can you outline any specific initiatives that are in the budget for veterans or seniors?

MR BARR: There are millions of dollars allocated in the portfolio areas and in the directorates—many ongoing initiatives. There are not new initiatives in every area in every budget.

Business—support

MS CASTLEY: My question is to the Minister for Business and Better Regulation. The government’s ChooseCBR scheme last December was supposed to help struggling small businesses but had to be extended because the uptake was so low, with less than half of the $500,000 claimed. Business owners criticised the scheme, saying that it was confusing and that some customers with vouchers did not spend much extra, while Canberra Business Chamber executive Graham Catt said it should have been extended to microbusinesses also. Minister, how do you respond to the Canberra Business Chamber, which said it had hoped for more measures in Tuesday’s budget to support local businesses?

MS CHEYNE: ChooseCBR was an ambitious scheme and it was a trial. It was the very first time that we had done anything like that in the ACT. As I said earlier today, $310,000 of discounts were redeemed in a very short period of time. This was less than the $500,000 allocated but it is nothing to be sneezed at, and the multiplier effect was 6.3—so $1.9 million contributed overall to the ACT economy. I have outlined a number of measures that are throughout the budget that are supporting local


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