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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 09 Hansard (Thursday, 16 September 2021) . . Page.. 2599 ..


MS BERRY: Thank you, Madam Speaker. I think I responded in my first sentence that the way this virus moves in our community needs to be dealt with cautiously and that a plan for a way forward will be based on the Chief Health Officer’s advice on the safety of all of our community and how we can return in a safe way.

But on our schools and on the social and emotional wellbeing of our young people: our teachers are doing an absolutely incredible job in the circumstances that we are in, delivering a remote education, which is not ideal. Of course, everybody understands that; it is not an easy time for everyone. But they are doing the very best they can to ensure our children get the best possible education delivered remotely, as well as providing social and emotional wellbeing support through our telehealth program, which parents and families are encouraged to access if they are feeling concerned.

I know people will be feeling upset about this. It is a roller-coaster of emotions for parents, and they are most worried about their young people. (Time expired.)

MR HANSON: Minister what assessments has the ACT government done on the educational, social and mental health impacts of these lockdowns, and will you publish those results?

MS BERRY: There has been international research into the effect that lockdowns have on the whole world, which is going through an international health pandemic at the moment. It is, of course, not ideal for anyone. But what we have found through remote learning is that students and young people are learning things they might not necessarily ordinarily learn in a typical classroom or face-to-face education—things like social and emotional learning, self-directed education, understanding what an international health pandemic can look like.

Remote education is delivered by the professionals in the ACT, and we are delivering the best in the country, in my view. Our teachers are going above and beyond to make sure our students and young people are getting all the support they can, not just with their learning but also with their social, emotional and mental health and wellbeing, because that is just as important as delivering an education remotely during an international health pandemic.

MRS JONES: Minister, when will you deliver a plan: in term 4, halfway through term 4 or at the end of term 4?

MS BERRY: As the Chief Minister has said before me and the health minister has said before me, we will listen very carefully to the advice of our Chief Health Officer. We have the very best advice in the country, and Dr Kerryn Coleman is providing that advice daily. We will take her advice in making those decisions on a plan for a way forward.

COVID-19—car sales

MS CASTLEY: My question is to the Minister for Business. Minister, Canberra’s automotive industry is banned from contactless delivery of cars to local homes, yet Queanbeyan dealers can sell cars and are delivering vehicles into Canberra. The ACT


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