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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 08 Hansard (Wednesday, 4 August 2021) . . Page.. 2299 ..


workers. This remains the case for nearly all industry sectors within the ACT economy, except for those that are tourism exposed, because, clearly, with the lockdown in Sydney, the Victorian lockdown and the Queensland lockdown, our tourism industry has lost about 85 per cent of its market. It is not experiencing a supply-side shock—all of the businesses are able to trade with no restrictions. It is experiencing a demand-side shock as a result of pandemic-induced lockdowns in the three biggest Australian states.

The issue from here will be whether, in our local economy, given Canberrans cannot really travel many places, we will see our local spend pickup. The June retail trade figures are encouraging in that regard. For hospitality, for example, in June it was the third highest spend ever in the history of that dataset, coming from May, which was the highest ever spend in the history of that dataset. It is showing that Canberrans will spend their money locally when they cannot travel overseas or interstate.

DR PATERSON: Chief Minister, in addressing the unemployment rate, what is the ACT government doing to create more jobs?

MR BARR: Obviously, we are the second largest employer in the city ourselves, so we have taken on the responsibility of promoting employment growth and securing local jobs through a range of initiatives that the government undertakes, as well as support of key industry sectors that are large employers. We will continue that focus. As we project beyond the immediate lockdowns along the eastern seaboard of Australia, we would anticipate the sort of economic rebound that we saw after a similar wave of lockdowns in 2020. The evidence appears to be that short, sharp lockdowns have the least economic cost, and then we will see a rebound.

We hope that the short, sharp lockdowns that have worked in Victoria will work in Queensland. It is now, obviously, too late for a short, sharp lockdown in New South Wales, so they are in for several more months, it would seem, of lockdown and restrictions. We are factoring that in to our economic thinking, given that Sydney and the greater Sydney region represent about 20 per cent of the national economy.

COVID-19—multilingual communication

MR BRADDOCK: My question is to the Minister for Health. The repeated lesson from COVID is the need to communicate effectively with all parts of the community, in particular, those for whom English is not their first language. In what languages has ACT Health produced materials to provide information about COVID?

MS STEPHEN-SMITH: I thank Mr Braddock for the question. I will take the detail of the question on notice. I can advise Mr Braddock that the COVID-19 website has materials available in 15 languages, but I do not have a list of those languages on me; it is probably available on the COVID-19 website.

The Public Information Coordination Centre for COVID-19, which has been running for some time now, takes very seriously the importance of communicating with culturally and linguistically diverse communities in the ACT. In fact, a liaison officer from the Community Services Directorate works with the PICC to help identify


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