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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 04 Hansard (Tuesday, 20 April 2021) . . Page.. 907 ..

capitalise on the momentum as we headed into Christmas. Ms Lee noted engagement with the multicultural community, and to suggest that we did not, again, is specious. I shared with her how we reached out and the variety of ways that we did that. That has been conveniently ignored too. We did not ask businesses that signed up for the trial to identify whether or not they were multicultural, so I do not have the exact figures in the take-up. However, notably, five of the top 10 businesses, in terms of vouchers redeemed, were multicultural in their offerings and likely ownership.

I am confident that, through this $2 million commitment in the 2020-21 budget, Choose CBR will continue to meet its goals to encourage people to shop locally at COVID-affected businesses and to stimulate sectors of the economy which have been heavily affected. I look forward to announcing more details on the initiative in the coming weeks.

The budget also provides funding for the Better Regulation Taskforce. I am pleased that Ms Castley has finally decided to pay some attention to it. The task force has recently begun its discovery and consultation phase. It has had an outstanding response so far from businesses across the ACT, including from the peak bodies, who are actively engaging with it. The task force is employing a number of engagement and review mechanisms to engage with businesses and inside government to identify the regulatory and process issues we can address to drive growth and to drive recovery through better regulatory settings.

A primary area of focus for government is to collaborate with Canberra’s key sectors to enhance Canberra’s reputation as a knowledge economy, harnessing our competitive advantages to address the workforce and skills needs of key sectors. Among the most recently announced initiatives is the ACT government’s commitment of $700,000 to establish the Canberra cyber hub. This investment leverages our city’s strengths and cybersecurity and brings together our unique industry, education and research sectors to position Canberra as the cyber capital of Australia. It will focus on four pillar objectives: grow Canberra’s cybersecurity education pathways, accelerate small and medium enterprises to grow connections and attract investment, promote the ACT’s research capabilities and showcase Canberra’s cybersecurity capabilities. The hub will build our skilled workforce through education, helping start-ups and other businesses to attract investment, showcasing our research capabilities and promoting Canberra’s nation-leading cybersecurity capabilities.

This past year has proven how quickly our world and expectations can change and how essential it is to protect, support and promote local businesses. It has also proven how essential it is for our economy to have both breadth and depth of activity so that it can readily adapt to sudden changes. Access Canberra has played a crucial role in supporting the territory’s economic recovery through the COVID-19 public health emergency. It worked to ensure that its services were delivered safely and adjusted its service centre operations to ensure accessibility for vulnerable Canberrans. It significantly changed its service delivery model in response to the pandemic in a way that has enabled high-level support to the ACT community to continue, whilst ensuring the safety of customers and staff.

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