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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 04 Hansard (Tuesday, 20 April 2021) . . Page.. 903 ..

support that is helping to take the pressure off local organisations so that they can focus on supporting Canberrans through this challenging time.

CMTEDD has played an important role in leading the ACT government’s economic response to COVID-19, alongside the vital public health response led by ACT Health. Skills Canberra and the ACT Property Group have each played their own valuable part in supporting Canberrans through the pandemic with the investments in this budget, and I know they will continue to do so as our economic recovery gathers pace in the months and years ahead.

I want to respond to several claims that have been made in the debate in relation to this output class. I am not sure they were quite in the right output class, but I will respond to them anyway because they have been mentioned. Ms Castley mentioned that the ACT government would rule out putting toilets in upgrades that we have funded in the budget at Kaleen Gwydir Square. At the election Labor made a commitment to upgrade several local shopping centres and a commitment to consult with the community, which is exactly what we are doing in relation to the upgrades. We have, of course, put out some draft plans. Those are not final plans; we are wanting to consult with the community.

It seems like several members in this place—Mr Milligan in particular, Mrs Jones and Ms Castley—seem to have the view that consulting with the community is not a good thing to do. We have not ruled in or ruled out anything. We are consulting with the community. That is exactly what Ms Lee called on us to do in relation to consulting with businesses on the phase-out of single-use plastic.

Opposition members interjecting

MR STEEL: That is exactly what we are doing—consulting with the community. On that reform, which Ms Lee mentioned, we have extensively consulted with the community. Today I have announced that we are working with the National Retail Association to consult with businesses face to face—700 of them—to talk about the phase-out of the plastics. We have an ongoing plastic reduction task force, with members of all of the peak bodies that are associated with retail and hospitality, to work through these changes and through each tranche of the phases over the past year and going forward. We will continue to work closely with businesses and we will continue to work closely with the community. We are the ones that committed to these reforms and we are the ones that are getting on with doing them, in consultation with the community and business.

MR MILLIGAN (Yerrabi) (5.58): I am very proud to be speaking here today on sport and recreation—

Mr Barr: Welcome!

MR MILLIGAN: Thank you, Mr Barr.

Mr Barr: We missed you in your short interlude out of this place.

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