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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 10 Hansard (Friday, 8 October 2021) . . Page.. 3055 ..

pandemic. Young people especially are suffering as their school, social and career plans have been put on hold due to this once-in-a-hundred-year pandemic.

I know that in my house there is more stress, more grumpiness and more sore eyes from staring at screens. There is a total hatred of going for long walks. There is a genuine commitment to get into the takeaway shop. I know that my kids, who have each other even in a lockdown situation—they each have five siblings—are finding this really difficult.

What can I say to all of our young people? I can say that this pandemic will pass. Hold on to your dreams. Stay as connected as you can. Your lives will take many turns and have many seasons. There will be a day when you will look back on the COVID-19 pandemic as a detour in life’s journey, not a roadblock. Stay strong.

The Canberra Liberals support the spirit of Mr Pettersson’s motion. We recognise the need to expand the range of services available to support and maintain Canberrans’, especially younger Canberrans’, mental health, and especially at this time.

Wednesday’s budget did foreshadow a modest boost in mental health services in the ACT, and we welcome that; but this is a space where more can be done. The constant conversations I have with people recovering from acute mental health conditions and their families leads me to believe that there are avoidable deaths and there is avoidable suffering in this city. I will work to improve this while I am here.

There is a small deficiency in the motion, however. With respect to thanking the ACT government for securing $3.6 million in additional funding, I agree with that. The motion does not really thank deeply the federal government. Let me say on behalf of this Assembly and the people of Canberra: thank you, Minister Hunt and Assistant Minister Coleman, for the $2.5 million in additional commonwealth funding that you provided to the ACT on 21 September, 2021. It might assist the Assembly if Minister Hunt’s media release was tabled. I seek the Assembly’s permission to table the media release from the commonwealth ministers who have supplied the ACT with this significant funding.

Leave granted.

MRS JONES: I present the following paper:

COVID-19 mental health boost for the ACT—Joint media release—Federal Minister for Health and Aged Care, Assistant Minister to the Prime Minister for Mental Health and Suicide Prevention, and Minister for International Development and the Pacific Senator for the ACT, dated 21 September 2021.

We hear you all being criticised in this chamber, but there is a great deal of interest in the year-on-year investment that the federal government makes here. Whilst our team here in the Canberra Liberals have our own minds, we are from the family of the Liberals, and we are thankful for this support.

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