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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 10 Hansard (Thursday, 7 October 2021) . . Page.. 2879 ..


with the additional $60,000 for businesses with a turnover, say, of more than $10 million. But it tiers down from there as well.

On top of that, if a business happens to be in the hospitality, the arts, the tourism, the fitness, or the accommodation sectors, there are additional top-up payments as well. The ACT government also has a number of fee waivers and other schemes. The business hardship scheme is due to come online very soon. I would encourage all businesses to sign up to our business newsletter.

MS CLAY: Minister, can you run through the new, additional investments that were made in yesterday’s budget to support Canberra’s small businesses?

MS CHEYNE: There were significant investments in our budget to support small businesses. As noted, we already have $290 million available for the COVID-19 business support grants, of which more than $160 million has been paid. On top of that, the best thing for businesses in our community is for our community to be safe. That is through vaccinations. They are absolutely interrelated.

Mrs Jones interjecting

MS CHEYNE: There is a reason that we have had dogged determination regarding our vaccination status, and it is this—to Mrs Jones, who is laughing, for whatever reason—a safe community provides confidence. It provides confidence for the business community, and that equals consumer confidence—confidence in going to businesses. And it equals visitor confidence as well as workforce confidence as we open up.

We are also considering measures that do not necessarily have a dollar figure attached to them, such as procurement policies, as a government, and how to make doing business with government easier. But to complement this, and it is detailed in the budget papers, the government’s priority remains supporting long-term economic growth and the diversification of the territory’s economy. We want a strong economy and we want to create jobs. The two go hand in hand. Having both attracts more people here, whether they are living here, working here or visiting. That results in more people spending in our local businesses.

We have an additional $28 million on top of the COVID-19 emergency funding to help the medium to longer term recovery, including promoting and stimulating international trade, as our international borders open up, funding a range of initiatives focused on supporting innovative start-ups, attracting new investment, venture capital investment and more. (Time expired.)

Education—teachers

MR HANSON: My question is to the Minister for Education and Youth Affairs. On 3 August this year you announced a taskforce to tackle serious teacher shortages that had been raised by the Australian Education Union. As you stated at the time, “A recent survey conducted by the AEU ACT branch confirms what we already know, which is that this national teacher shortage is having an impact locally.” The budget


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