Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 07 Hansard (Tuesday, 22 June 2021) . . Page.. 1857 ..
Regarding mixing of vaccinations, including AstraZeneca and then to Pfizer, which we know is a question that is being asked, ATAGI has advised that there is not yet the requisite evidence on the effectiveness of mixed schedules for different vaccines, but ATAGI and TGA will continue to review the evidence object that issue. I note that ATAGI does not have any current approvals in place in relation to that.
MS LAWDER: My question is to the Minister for Business and Better Regulation. Minister, you have repeatedly stated that the ChooseCBR scheme was a business stimulus program, yet of the 4,000 eligible businesses only 797 made any money. Of those 797 businesses which benefited, almost 180 businesses redeemed fewer than 10 vouchers and so would have made an average of about $150. A further 200 businesses redeemed fewer than 50 vouchers, so would have made approximately $750. Minister, wouldn’t it have been simpler, smarter and cheaper to divide the $2 million between all eligible 4,000 businesses so that each received $500?
MS CHEYNE: As Ms Lawder rightly points out, it is a stimulus scheme. Stimulus is not defined as just the minimum voucher transaction that occurred in store for these businesses. It achieved a raft of things, including that it allowed people a greater awareness, I think, of businesses—both near to them and far—that they might not have otherwise been aware of. There were people who were exploring more, which is exactly what we encouraged them to do. There were people who may not have had a chance to use their voucher during the quick time of the uptake of the scheme but still used the map function and the search function to understand what other businesses are out there.
In addition to that, the people who were able to get to those businesses and use those vouchers may have been spending more. We already know that the overall economic impact was more than double—it was about 2.6—with $5.1 million injected into the economy. I think that those relationships—the new relationships between businesses and customers—even if they have not quite started yet, will be ongoing. The scheme was not just to do with the immediate financial injection of the voucher but was also about these ongoing relationships and the ripple effect.
MS LAWDER: Minister, beyond the $2 million of taxpayer money that less than 800 businesses benefited from, what was the total amount of taxpayer dollars forked out on ChooseCBR?
MS CHEYNE: It is a bit exasperating that I spent quite a lot of effort on a ministerial statement that seems to have not been listened to or read. As I stated, we are $203,000—
Mr Hanson: Madam Speaker—
MADAM SPEAKER: Minister, resume your seat.