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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 09 Hansard (Thursday, 16 September 2021) . . Page.. 2628 ..


as many people back to work as soon as we can; and supporting Canberrans’ mental health. We will provide more detail as we move through this period. But we have provided certainty that based on the health advice for these four weeks the changes will be minimal.

As we move forward through this period and into the medium and longer terms, we will continue to consult with businesses—individually and with established groups and forums. We will continue to engage with our businesses leaders and industry representative groups on a regular basis, taking into account their feedback, together with the health advice.

We already have a recovery taskforce. Members may recall that the government established the Canberra Economic Recovery Advisory Group last year to bring together business leaders and industry experts to advise the government on short- and medium-term opportunities to strengthen and grow our economy. Our strengths are reflected in the membership of CERAG, including people from small innovative businesses, universities, finance and economics, creativity, and entrepreneurial experience. What Ms Lee calls for exists.

The group is developing advice for the Chief Minister and government about ensuring we are in the best possible position to address short and medium-term challenges to position the ACT for recovery. It will be critical to help ensure our V-shaped recovery is as sharp as it can possibly be. We will continue to invest in infrastructure that supports productivity, in addition to our ambitious agenda for climate action—an investment of over $300 million over the next five years. We will continue to pursue regulatory reforms that promote economic growth and make it easier for businesses to do business in the ACT, no matter their size. We have had a very big engagement agenda with small business communities to date to assist us in helping make doing business better, with initiatives identified to strengthen business information and communications, simplification of government to business interactions, and improvements to regulated practice.

The months ahead will be challenging; there is no doubt about it. There will continue to be a degree of uncertainty. Our resilience will be tested. We are working around the clock to support our small businesses. Again, I want to put on the record my thanks to all of the public servants who are working day and night, seven days a week, particularly the public servants in my directorates that are supporting small businesses and especially the teams in Access Canberra and economic development. They have absolutely stood up and have given it their all. They are working as hard and as fast as they can in a way that is genuinely engaging with businesses in a compassionate way. No-one wants to be here, but we will get through this.

MR DAVIS (Brindabella) (3.39): We all deserve access to secure and meaningful work. For many of us, owning and operating a small business is a dream come true. I know it was for me as a small business operator prior to my election to this place. The ACT Greens will be supporting the amendments put forward by Minister Cheyne, which reflect the significant work the government is doing to support small business at this time.


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