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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 09 Hansard (Thursday, 16 September 2021) . . Page.. 2677 ..

I thank the government for chipping in $7½ thousand to the group. I imagine there will be the possibility of additional support in the future, if the lockdown goes on. Thanks also to the Rotary Club, who have partnered with Garry to assist him some more.

A special thanks from me to all of those involved in another project which we undertook to fill a gap and help some of the larger multicultural families in quarantine for a long time, as each member of the household inevitably gets the Delta strain of COVID, and quarantining with an extended household is a tough job. As a mum of a big household, I know this experience with other illnesses.

After the needs of these family groups were raised with me and with Elizabeth Lee, I thought that there were people in this city who would take the opportunity to assist these families, and I was right. The need was raised with Elizabeth and I late in the third week of lockdown and, by the middle of the next week, a team and a response had been organised to supply large boxes of the right foods to these families. So we got Canberra Hand in Hand going. First, thanks to Elizabeth and the Canberra Liberals team for their support. It is an unusual thing for an opposition to be involved in, but when things get tough, we all want to help out and do what we can.

My special thanks go to Andrew Dale. This man is a one-man powerhouse of kindness and, as per his work for south coast families in the aftermath of last year’s fires, Andrew put his vast catering and supply chain skills to work, suggesting and putting together a response and suppliers who we knew would say yes to helping out.

Huge thanks go to Frank Commisso from Go Troppo Fruit Market and his absolutely solid, hardworking team, especially Mrs Commisso, Joel Commisso, Marcus Commisso and Frank’s drivers, who all spent a day packing and preparing the boxes and helping to deliver them.

I thank Brett Palmer of Longpark Meat who, like Frank, supplied goods at cost price. Go the local businessmen! It is not an easy time for many in business, but these humble giants have helped us.

I thank the volunteers who manned the collection point and helped with the administration side of things—Rafi (Rafaella), Danielle, Daniel, Michelle, Dave, Kate, Andrew, Leo, Daniel, Bill and Elli. You are all trusted and big-hearted friends; thanks for being there for our community.

Thanks go to Ian McKay from the Southern Cross Club, to Sam and Chin Wong for advice and support, and to the charity who made the whole thing possible, Picking up the Peaces, who are a big supporter of our community.

COVID-19 pandemic—business

MS CASTLEY (Yerrabi) (6.21): I will never forget the day, 13 years ago, back in 2008, when my husband and I closed the door on our business for the last time. We had spent months working hard to avoid closure, but, in the end, we had to admit defeat. We knew we could not recover and had to call it a day.

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