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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 04 Hansard (Thursday, 22 April 2021) . . Page.. 1115 ..


has been able to issue. I know that Canberra audiences are snapping them up, but the theatre business does still have some way to go in fully recovering from the situation and resuming normal levels of activity, including and especially during the national touring productions. This extra funding supports the theatre in returning to pre-COVID levels of business and will therefore deliver important benefits for the ACT economy. In the 2018-19 financial year, the theatre centre produced a total economic impact for the ACT of nearly $33 million, with a contribution to the visitor economy of over $21 million.

The additional funding provided to the corporation to assist it in recovering from COVID is in addition to the government’s investment of over $9 million each year for the corporation’s operations. The extra funding provided this year and our ongoing investment in it demonstrate the government’s commitment to enhancing the cultural life of our community and reinforcing Canberra’s status as a creative capital. In commending this appropriation to the Assembly, I want to thank the many staff employed through the corporation, CEO Harriet Elvin and the board for the creative ways in which they have responded and engaged to thrive under incredibly difficult circumstances. We are indebted to them for their professionalism and advocacy, for how much they give to our community and for how they care about our community, ensuring our cultural and creative recovery. I, and many members in this place, look forward to engaging with all of the important institutions under the corporation’s umbrella over the coming months, years, and decades ahead.

Proposed expenditure agreed to.

Icon Water Limited—Part 1.16

Proposed expenditure agreed to.

Legal Aid Commission (ACT)—Part 1.17

MR CAIN (Ginninderra) (4.46): I will not take too much of the Assembly’s time. Unfortunately, it has been the theme of this entire budget debate—the Labor-Greens government does not have its spending priorities right. The services provided by Legal Aid to Canberrans are more often than not in relation to family violence, mental health, employment, NDIS and care and protection, amongst others. These are strongly impacting issues and events that go to the wellbeing of our community.

Unfortunately, we heard during estimates earlier this year, from Legal Aid representatives themselves, that they are being asked to do more with less. In addition, the committee heard that the Tenancy Advice Service has been rolled into Legal Aid, asking them to take on even more responsibilities. Unfortunately, and yet again, under this Labor-Greens government Canberra’s most vulnerable seem to be losing out.

MR RATTENBURY (Kurrajong—Attorney-General, Minister for Consumer Affairs, Minister for Gaming and Minister for Water, Energy and Emissions Reduction) (4.47): Legal Aid does perform a vital role in providing legal support to those who need it most. The legal needs of vulnerable Canberrans have grown in both volume


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