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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 04 Hansard (Tuesday, 20 April 2021) . . Page.. 902 ..


their economic insecurity, the greater role they play in undertaking unpaid household and caring responsibilities and the feminisation of frontline education and healthcare sectors.

Minister Berry tabled the annual statement on the status of women and girls a few weeks ago, detailing some of the work the government is doing in this space. We Greens are pleased that we managed to negotiate the new Standing Committee on Economy and Gender and Economic Equality, which is taking a gender lens to its inquiries. That committee has already started getting to work.

I am glad that the government has agreed to recent estimates recommendations that gender budgeting be applied at every single stage in the COVID recovery and in all future crises. I would really like to see that roll out for every single ACT government decision. We need that gender lens at the front end of all budget and government decisions and we need to make sure that we are supporting our arts, tourism and recreation sectors—and the small businesses that are struggling in those sectors—as we move forward.

MR STEEL (Murrumbidgee—Minister for Skills, Minister for Transport and City Services and Special Minister of State) (5.54): I would like to highlight the important work that has been happening through the budget in my capacity as Minister for Skills and Special Minister of State. I am very proud of the ACT government’s commitment to increasing employment opportunities for Canberrans in the work that we are doing through skilling up Canberrans.

This work is particularly important for young Canberrans and job seekers who are trying to reskill or upskill following the COVID-19 pandemic, and for supporting the recovery. Through a joint investment with the Australian government, we have invested $16 million in the JobTrainer program to deliver up to 3,500 places across CIT, the Ginninderry SPARK Program and private training providers. JobTrainer has been incredibly popular, with close to $14 million allocated so far across full qualifications and short courses. Skills Canberra has worked hard to get this initiative off the ground in a very short time frame, while ensuring that it is reaching the people who most need help to find their first job or get another one after a time of unemployment.

The areas of the directorate that I am responsible for have also been helping Canberrans through COVID-19 in other important ways. The ACT Property Group is the landlord for hundreds of community service providers and local community groups, managing a portfolio of well over 200 properties across the city. Since 1 April 2020, the government has not charged rent to community groups occupying ACT government-owned properties, including Housing Asset Assistance Program properties and school facilities that are rented to the community. Support has also been provided for commercial tenants of ACT government-owned properties, which have lost significant revenue as a result of COVID-19.

In the budget we extended these rent relief arrangements up to 30 June this year, recognising that there are many community groups and service providers who are continuing to be affected by the pandemic downturn. This is a practical form of


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