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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 04 Hansard (Friday, 23 April 2021) . . Page.. 1157 ..

Wages paid to apprentices or trainees employed after 1 August 2020 are exempt from payroll tax from the start of their employment until 30 June 2021. Community event organisers can continue to apply for support for up to $15,000 for new or existing community events and festivals that are activated in suburbs and town centres during the 2021 calendar year.

In recognition of the impacts of the pandemic on mental health, small business owners can access Beyond Blue’s new access mental health support program. This program is free. It is a confidential mental health coaching program structured over six sessions with a mental health trained coach with a small business background. I would urge all local businesses to reach out if they need support and make sure they are taking advantage of any rebates that are available to them. I support small business. This government supports business. That is why I support the government’s amendment.

MR DAVIS (Brindabella) (11.15): I thank Ms Castley for bringing this motion to the Assembly and allowing me to once again reaffirm the ACT Greens strong commitment to small, medium and family sized business in the ACT. I have taken the time to reflect on the motion while it has been on the notice paper and consult with stakeholders. Based on those conversations, we will be supporting Minister Cheyne’s amendment to the motion today.

Madam Speaker, it might surprise you to know that, in spite of being born and raised in Canberra, this is my first public service job. I have always either worked in or owned small businesses before being elected to this place. I understand the challenges and opportunities for small businesses in the ACT. I am reminded of both the opportunities and challenges every second Wednesday night when my dad comes over for tea and I help him do his invoices so that he gets paid on a fortnightly basis. The importance of the administrative and financial burden on small business people is brought home to me quite regularly.

In my capacity as both the ACT Greens spokesperson for small business and a member for Brindabella, I have risen in this place many times in the last six months to celebrate wonderful Canberra small businesses. You might recall being introduced to Phish and Phreak Productions, a small business that has blossomed throughout the COVID pandemic.

I have also risen, Madam Speaker, to join with your voice in support of a small business in our community that has been really run roughshod over by the greed of multinational corporations. That is the value that I hope to bring to this conversation, as we continue to support and embrace small, medium and family sized businesses in our city.

I am encouraged, though, on reflection, to go through just some of the government’s achievements. There is an awful amount of work that is happening in this space. I am excited about all of it, whether it be the fact that in this cabinet there is a specific Minister for Business and Better Regulation—that is a very exciting move forward for Canberra small businesses—or that the Canberra economic advisory group already exists to provide support and advice in real time to the minister as it pertains to small

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