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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 09 Hansard (Thursday, 16 September 2021) . . Page.. 2615 ..

(g) that the Chief Minister has estimated there are approximately 10,000 businesses eligible for government business support;

(h) that in the first two weeks of applications for government business support:

(i) approximately 6000 businesses had applied (comprising about 60 percent); and

(ii) approximately 400 businesses had been approved for support (comprising about 6.7 percent of current applications);

(i) the vast majority of eligible businesses have not received critically necessary support;

(j) that this uncertainty is causing great distress for business owners, their families and the Canberrans employed by these businesses; and

(k) the significant impact this ongoing lockdown, uncertainty for the long-term management of the pandemic and the delays to critically needed support is having on the mental health of business owners, their families and their staff; and

(2) calls on the ACT Government to:

(a) define a clear path forward for ACT businesses, including a clear and transparent plan for the safe transition out of the lockdown;

(b) establish a COVID-19 Business Recovery Taskforce comprising of representatives and leaders from the business community across a range of sectors, for the purpose of:

(i) developing a recovery plan for ACT businesses;

(ii) informing post-COVID business measures; and

(iii) providing a direct voice to the ACT Government from business;

(c) publish the terms of reference and members of the taskforce by the last sitting day in October 2021; and

(d) report on progress of the Taskforce to the Assembly by the last sitting of 2021.

On behalf of the Canberra Liberals I thank everyone from the frontline working hard to keep our community safe. Our community’s heart has been on full display in Canberrans rallying to look out for one another. Canberrans have been through so much over the last five weeks. Many Canberrans felt the anxiety and stress of waiting to hear the numbers during the Chief Minister’s daily press conferences at 11.45 each day. Many Canberrans have felt the enormous pressure of trying to balance supporting our children through remote learning whilst also staying dedicated to day jobs, within the challenging boundaries of working from home.

For too many Canberrans, the last five weeks have meant being forced to wait patiently at home to be able to reopen their businesses and begin trading. For these Canberrans, each and every day of lockdown is met with uncertainty, with diminishing hope that their businesses will ever be the same. Many Canberrans pinned their hopes on Tuesday, 14 September as the day that we would be provided with a plan—a road map, a pathway forward on how the ACT would safely transition out of

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