Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 03 Hansard (Tuesday, 30 March 2021) . . Page.. 574 ..
For many Canberrans, using the Check In CBR app is not a new practice. As at 28 March 2021, more than 9,000 venues are registered with the Check in CBR app; the app has been downloaded more than 500,000 times since its launch; and there have been more than 7.1 million check-ins using the app. The use of the app has quickly become standard behaviour in our response to COVID-19, and I would like to thank Canberra businesses and the community for their support.
Similar check-in requirements are now in place in all other jurisdictions and ACT Health’s Digital Solutions Division has done an amazing job in supporting the Northern Territory, Tasmania and most recently Queensland in developing their check-in apps, based on ours here in Canberra.
Our economy continues to recover strongly, with the lowest unemployment in Australia. However, we recognise that COVID-19 continues to present challenges, and the end of JobKeeper may be of particular concern for some businesses. In recognition of these ongoing challenges that COVID-19 presents to our economy, the Minister for Business and Better Regulation yesterday announced an extension of the Canberra Business Advice and Support Service for another 12 months, giving local businesses up to four hours of free expert advice tailored to their business via the Canberra Business Enterprise Centre.
This is in addition to a range of other financial supports that include, among other things, $1,000 electricity bill rebates for cafes, restaurants and takeaway businesses; and the ability to apply for rebates of water and sewerage fixed charges on Icon Water bills for the 2020-21 financial year for hotels, motels, serviced apartments and function and event venues. I echo Minister Cheyne’s message for local businesses to reach out if they need support and to make sure that they are taking advantage of all the supports that are available.
As the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve, both here in Australia and across the world, the ACT government needs to be able to respond by implementing and enforcing public health directions to protect Canberrans. The Chief Health Officer regularly provides the government with advice on the status of the COVID-19 emergency and the ACT’s public health situation.
Upon receiving the Chief Health Officer’s report for February and considering the detailed advice, on 17 February 2021 I extended the ACT’s public health emergency declaration for a further 90 days. This extension will see the public health emergency continue in the ACT through to 18 May 2021. I take this opportunity to table the two most recent reports:
Status of the public health emergency due to COVID-19—
Chief Health Officer Report 11, dated 15 February 2021.
Chief Health Officer Report 12, dated 15 March 2021.
The public health emergency declaration enables the Chief Health Officer to continue to take the necessary actions to reduce threats to public health, including issuing