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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 08 Hansard (Wednesday, 4 August 2021) . . Page.. 2291 ..

the highest net demand of any commercial leasing sector in the country and the lowest vacancy rate the territory has seen since 2009.

Of course, a strong public health response is essential to maintaining this economic activity and protecting and creating jobs. That is why the government is committed to delivering the vaccination rollout as effectively as possible—subject, of course, to supply of vaccines from the federal government. We know that vaccines are the only way out of this pandemic. Yesterday we opened vaccination bookings for Canberrans in their 30s and nearly 21,000 bookings were made in a single day. That is four times the previous record. (Time expired.)

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary, Mr Pettersson.

MR PETTERSSON: Chief Minister, will the ACT government seek to partner with the commonwealth government to strengthen our economic recovery?

MR BARR: In short, yes, we will. We have been able to partner with the commonwealth on a range of important infrastructure projects, such as light rail stage 2A, the duplications of Gundaroo Drive and William Hovell Drive, the upgrades to the Monaro Highway, the Tuggeranong Parkway and the Molonglo River bridge crossing.

Looking beyond these projects, we look forward to working with the commonwealth to see a consolidation and revitalisation of the Australian Institute of Sport at Bruce, a boost to housing supply for the territory at the former CSIRO Ginninderra site, the rejuvenation of Commonwealth Park, the Commonwealth Avenue bridge renewal project and the next stage of the Acton waterfront development.

DR PATERSON: A supplementary.


DR PATERSON: Chief Minister, have you raised any specific new proposals with the commonwealth?

MR BARR: Yes, I have, and I thank Dr Paterson for the question. I have written to the federal Treasurer and the minister for tourism requesting a nationally consistent approach to support tourism and hospitality businesses and workers that have been affected by lockdowns outside of their state or territory.

I have asked the commonwealth to consider further extending the COVID-19 disaster payment to eligible employees in the tourism and hospitality sectors, including those in the ACT who have lost income as a result of outbreaks in other jurisdictions. We have been able to secure this support for workers in this context where they were exposed interstate but undertook their isolation in the ACT. We have got them eligible for these payments, but we want to see this extended. The government will also continue to monitor impacts locally on our economy as a result of the interstate lockdowns, and we will consider additional support if required.

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