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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 09 Hansard (Thursday, 16 September 2021) . . Page.. 2610 ..


MR BRADDOCK: Minister, moving forward, how will the government continue to support the health and livelihoods of tenants for the remainder of the lockdown?

MS VASSAROTTI: The ACT government has introduced a range of programs to support the community through this challenging time. Many of these will include our public housing tenants. This week the Chief Minister announced that the ACT government would provide an additional one-off $200 increase to the utilities concession. That is supporting the most vulnerable people in our community. This means that this year the utilities concession for the 31,000 eligible households in the ACT will increase from $700 in the last financial year to $1,000.

Since the beginning of the crisis, we have progressively made announcements and introduced support packages in areas including food and material aid and mental health support. I was really pleased to be part of today’s $26 million package that ensures that those most in need in our community will continue to receive support as we respond to the latest local outbreak of the COVID-19 virus. Key elements include $8.6 million over three years to expand the capacity of homelessness services, $509,000 for the pandemic response team to continue to implement the ACT government community recovery road map, and an additional $100,000 to support ongoing access to emergency food relief for those in need.

In relation to supporting tenants who may be in financial stress that is impacting their ability to pay rent, I welcome the ACT government’s Residential Tenancies (COVID-19 Emergency Response) Declaration 2021 and the protection it provides to tenants who are impacted by COVID-19. This will include Housing ACT tenants.

Housing ACT will continue to work with tenants to sustain their tenancies during the moratorium period. (Time expired.)

MR DAVIS: Minister, if you had a direct line to the Prime Minister, what federal government interventions would you ask for that you think would most assist the ACT’s public housing tenants?

Mrs Jones: Madam Speaker, that is a hypothetical question. It is out of order.

MADAM SPEAKER: It may be. Members, there was a question here about how many. It goes both ways. I am going to rule it out of order.

Mr Barr: Further questions can be placed on the notice paper.

Papers

The Clerk presented the following papers:

Full Mesoscopic study—Paper—Resolution—Order to table 5 August 2021—Copies of letters from the Chief Minister to the Clerk—

Advising that no such document exists, dated 18 August 2021.

Providing further clarification, dated 18 August 2021.


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