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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 11 Hansard (Tuesday, 9 November 2021) . . Page.. 3090 ..

Planning, Transport and City Services—Standing Committee


MS CLAY (Ginninderra) (10.20), by leave: I move:

That e-petition No 15-21 and two out-of-order petitions relating to the Melba recreational space be referred to the Standing Committee on Planning, Transport and City Services.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

COVID-19 pandemic response—update

Ministerial statement

MS STEPHEN-SMITH (Kurrajong—Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs, Minister for Families and Community Services and Minister for Health) (10.20): I rise to provide an update on the COVID-19 situation in the ACT and the actions that the government is taking to protect the health and wellbeing of Canberrans.

Since my last update to the Legislative Assembly, on 6 October, daily case numbers have decreased and the ACT’s vaccination coverage continues to rise, which has enabled us to significantly ease a range of business and gathering restrictions.

The public health response remains targeted at reducing community transmission through effective test, trace, isolate and quarantine measures, with a particular focus on preventing cases and outbreaks in high-risk settings. Testing numbers have decreased since we began our transition out of lockdown. I would like to remind Canberrans to get tested, even with the mildest of symptoms, especially as we begin to move around the community more freely.

COVID-19 case numbers across Australia are slowly decreasing as the outbreaks in New South Wales and Victoria stabilise. As Australia learns to live with COVID, health authorities, at least in outbreak jurisdictions, are gradually shifting focus from strongly suppressing the virus to working to minimise serious illness, hospitalisations and fatalities as a result of COVID-19. Our primary goal is to ensure that our health system is not overwhelmed and to protect public health.

As I mentioned, New South Wales continues to record a much lower number of COVID-19 cases compared to the previous month and case numbers have begun to stabilise. As at 7 November, New South Wales reported 2,898 active locally acquired cases in the state.

On 11 October, the New South Wales government lifted stay-at-home orders across all of New South Wales and eased a range of public health restrictions for fully vaccinated people after the state reached its 70 per cent fully vaccinated target for people aged 16 years and over. Restrictions were eased further for fully vaccinated residents on 18 October, once the state hit the 80 per cent target.

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