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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 10 Hansard (Thursday, 7 October 2021) . . Page.. 2890 ..


MR BARR: I would need some clarification of the statement “have not received a cent”, as in have they not applied for any support from the commonwealth or ACT governments through the schemes or have they not been eligible? We would need to understand the basis of that statement.

Ms Castley: They have applied and haven’t received anything.

MR BARR: Eligibility for the business supports require businesses to have a turnover above a certain level, consistent with the commonwealth, state and territory COVID support arrangements. For those who fell below that level, there is an alternate support program available.

Mrs Jones: They have applied but haven’t received it.

MR BARR: They have applied for it but they have not yet received a payment. That is the nature of the question?

Mrs Jones: So what do you say to them?

MR BARR: If that is the nature of the question then we can investigate individual cases. I do not know which program they have not received a cent from. The question is not clear in that regard. But if it relates to the business support grants and they have a turnover of over $75,000 then they are in that scheme. If they have not yet been paid, then we can investigate the matter. If they fall below that threshold then the scheme to support them is the COVID disaster payments which are run by the commonwealth government. I would suggest that if they have not received payment through that scheme then we can assist them to make contact with Services Australia to ensure that they do receive payment under that scheme.

MADAM SPEAKER: Ms Lee.

MS LEE: Chief Minister, what have you done specifically, or are you doing, to support the mental health of these small business owners, who are in severe distress because they have applied for these grants and have not received a single cent or word from your government?

MR BARR: Again, it is not clear from the question which grants, but there are business mental health support programs. They have been running. Hundreds of people have participated in the programs and there is mental health support available, jointly funded. There are also ACT government programs and there are programs being run by non-government organisations and, indeed, even some business organisations. Those programs are available.

Mrs Jones: Can you supply a list?

MR BARR: It is on the COVID-19 website, Madam Speaker.


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