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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 10 Hansard (Wednesday, 6 October 2021) . . Page.. 2776 ..

those in highly casualised employment get the benefit of penalty rates applying to levels of pay. They are a couple of examples, but across all of the services that the ACT government provides, having a social safety net that is supported through the provision of public and community housing and through the provision of free public education and free access to public health care, are some of the fundamental tenets of the ACT government’s responsibility. But it is a shared responsibility between our level of government and government at the national level.

MS CLAY: Chief Minister, what impact would the federal government raising income support payments above the Henderson poverty line have on the ACT government’s commitment to the elimination of poverty in Canberra?

MR BARR: We saw the practical example when those payments were lifted last year. Indeed, even the COVID disaster payments now, the $750 a week tax free, have in fact lifted the incomes of thousands of households. There is a combination of ways that we can lift more people out of poverty. There are two primary ways. One is more jobs; the other is better social security and income support. That takes the form not only of commonwealth statutory payments; it also goes to the entire construct of a social safety net that includes things that I have mentioned, including access to affordable housing, free public education, and access to free public health and concessions across a range of government services. We do see an important role, and the Labor Party will always see an important role, for well-paid, secure employment as being part of the solution to alleviate poverty.

Light rail—stage 2

DR PATERSON: My question is to the Minister for Transport and City Services. Minister, can you please provide an update on the delivery of light rail stage 2 to Woden.

MR STEEL: I thank Dr Paterson for her question. It is very exciting that we have seen significant progress on this important project in recent months. In July we completed the translocation of the golden sun moth from the part of the Commonwealth Avenue median that is affected by the enabling utility works. In September, these enabling utility works commenced to relocate those utilities from London Circuit onto Commonwealth Avenue and also Vernon Circle and Constitution Avenue in Braddon.

Just last week, we released the requests for expressions of interest for a construction partner to undertake raising London Circuit to deliver an upgraded intersection with Commonwealth Avenue. This is a key first step in the procurement process. We are continuing to progress design and stakeholder consultation works for all elements of the project and we are continuing to engage constructively with the National Capital Authority.

Finally, and somewhat separately, the Sandford Street stop in Mitchell has also now been completed and became operational on 13 September—the second stop in Mitchell. This stop is providing better access for Canberrans to the growing Mitchell business and industrial hub and will also serve the future residents of Kenny.

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