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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 10 Hansard (Wednesday, 6 October 2021) . . Page.. 2739 ..


I thank the Campbell Community Association, particularly Cheryl, Sarah and Margaret, for their advocacy on behalf of local residents, and I thank the more than 600 residents who signed this petition so that I could raise their concerns as their local member in this chamber today.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

COVID-19 pandemic response—update

Ministerial statement

MS STEPHEN-SMITH (Kurrajong—Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs, Minister for Families and Community Services and Minister for Health) (10.18): I rise to provide an update on the COVID-19 situation in the ACT and the actions the government is taking in response to the current outbreak to protect the health and wellbeing of Canberrans.

Since my last update to the Legislative Assembly on 16 September, we have continued to closely manage the COVID-19 situation in the ACT. Case numbers had been relatively stable over the lockdown period, until the last few days. However, the last week has seen a significant increase in cases reported. We are seeing persistent community transmission and detecting cases who have spent some or all of their infectious period in the community. We are also seeing a range of new exposure sites. ACT Health is continuing to focus on testing, contact tracing, isolation and quarantine to minimise the risk to the community.

At this time, I remind any Canberran who might have even the mildest of COVID-19 symptoms to get tested as soon as they notice symptoms start. The virus is circulating in Canberra and we need to remain vigilant. I strongly urge anyone who is eligible and has not been vaccinated to book an appointment to receive a vaccination.

I again thank all the staff from ACT Health, Canberra Health Services and right across the ACT public service for their dedicated response to this outbreak. Staff have worked tirelessly since the outbreak began, and I commend them for their dedication to their work and to protecting the ACT community.

This has been a difficult time for all of us. We know that the extended lockdown has significantly impacted on the business community; families have not been able to see their loved ones and friends; and many Canberrans have experienced challenges associated with working from home and remote learning. We recognise that this has been a trying time, and I thank the community for their ongoing support in following the public health advice.

Madam Speaker, Australia continues to see high numbers of COVID-19 cases, largely driven by the spread of the highly contagious Delta variant in New South Wales, Victoria and the ACT. In recent days, New South Wales has experienced a plateau in cases and a reduction in community transmission in some of Sydney’s local government areas of concern, but there continue to be cases spreading across regional areas, including in areas around Canberra, including Queanbeyan, Cooma, Goulburn and the south coast.


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