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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 10 Hansard (Wednesday, 6 October 2021) . . Page.. 2823 ..

Minister Berry outlined all and everything that the current government is doing. Instead of reassuring the community, in fact, it is worse. The fact is that they have outlined in great detail everything that they are doing to support and help people in poverty and, clearly, it is not working. If it was, we would not see over 38,000 Canberrans living in poverty, including 9,000 children.

If this government are using everything in their toolkit, you have to ask: why do we in 2021 have over 38,000 Canberrans living in poverty after 20 years of this government? In fact, it is a clear indication and confirmation that they either do not care and will not do anything, or they have run out of ideas. Either way, the people who pay the price are the most vulnerable members of our community.

This, of course, is a government that continues to blame the federal government and absolutely refuses to take any responsibility. Our community, the Canberrans who are facing these challenges of not being able to put food on the table, pay the bills or turn on the heater in winter, are the ones who are being cheated by this government.

The amendment moved by Ms Berry attempts to scrub the disadvantaged of Canberra who have been left behind by this government. It attempts to scrub the Canberra that is continuing to be left behind by this government. I say to the Deputy Chief Minister that she might be able to scrub those words from my motion and she might be able to turn her back on the Canberrans who are struggling, but we will not. We will always stand up for Canberrans who have long been forgotten by this government.

I do note, however, that paragraph (6) of the amendment calls on the government to—and I quote:

(a) use every tool at its disposal to foster a strong and fair economic recovery from the pandemic-induced economic downturn, while continuing to address day-to-day cost stresses; and

(b) review and update the ACT’s Targeted Assistance Strategy in the first half of 2022, with potential measures to be considered as part of the 2022-23 Budget.”.

There is at least a call to action which does include some of the intent that is contained in my original motion. For that reason, pursuant to standing order 133, I ask for the question to be divided into a vote on paragraphs (1) to (5) and a vote on paragraph (6).

Ordered that the question be divided.

Question put:

That paragraphs (1) to (5) be agreed to.

The Assembly voted—

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