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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 10 Hansard (Thursday, 7 October 2021) . . Page.. 2929 ..


In addition to the usual grandstanding, this motion calls on the ACT government to develop a social recovery plan to address the social and economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak, and the Canberra Liberals support this. But I put it on the record that these kinds of plans and calls from the Greens to their own government colleagues rarely result in any meaningful change.

I encourage Mr Braddock as a member of this government to reflect on the struggles of so many Canberra families, particularly the 38,000 Canberrans living in poverty, and ensure that his colleagues actually deliver on meaningful ways this social recovery plan will improve the lives of our vulnerable Canberrans.

While we are happy to support paragraph (2) of Mr Braddock’s amended motion, we will not be supporting paragraphs (1) and (3). If the Leader of the ACT Greens needs an Assembly motion to raise serious concerns with his own federal leader, then perhaps he needs to foster better relationships with his federal counterpart. Political grandstanding and parading does not achieve change.

Over the course of the pandemic, the Morrison government has committed an unprecedented $311 billion in economic and health support to Australian households and businesses—including households and businesses across the ACT—to avoid the vast unemployment and economic contraction we have witnessed right across the world. The Morrison government has invested more in the ACT than any other government in this territory’s history, Liberal or Labor.

We will continue to raise issues of importance to Canberrans directly with our federal colleagues, as we always have done, and the Greens could sort out their own internal party communications. We believe in taking real and effective action against poverty and the cost of living in this city. We are committed to supporting Canberrans left behind by 20 years of an arrogant, complacent and neglectful government. That is exactly what we will continue to do.

Ordered that the question be divided.

MS BERRY (Ginninderra—Deputy Chief Minister, Minister for Early Childhood Development, Minister for Education and Youth Affairs, Minister for Housing and Suburban Development, Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence, Minister for Sport and Recreation and Minister for Women) (4.59): I am pleased to be able to talk on this motion today. And as has been reflected on in speeches before mine, Canberra often looks like the epitome of a middle-class paradise with our high wages, high levels of education and material wealth. Many Canberrans have more than one home—a beach house. Many Canberrans do not have any home. These are the low-paid often hidden people in our communities; the people who are working on poverty wages or living on no wages at all. These are the cleaners, the aged-care workers, security, hospitality, early childhood educators, bar workers and kitchen staff, some of the hardest working people, and yet often the most invisible in our communities.


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