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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 11 Hansard (Wednesday, 10 November 2021) . . Page.. 3242 ..


MS STEPHEN-SMITH: I thank Dr Paterson for that supplementary question. Of course, the ACT has led the nation not only in the overall rate of vaccination uptake but in providing these targeted vaccination clinics that have reached all corners of our community. I acknowledge that in some states and territories the rate of vaccination for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities is well below that of the community as a whole.

Happily, that is not the case in the ACT. As at 3 November, ACT vaccination rates, using a reporting method agreed by the commonwealth government Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander advisory group, showed that the uptake of eligible Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Canberrans is actually equivalent to the general population. However, we know that some in the community who are still eligible have not come forward, and we are working to provide every opportunity to them.

I particularly want to acknowledge the partnerships we have with Winnunga Nimmityjah Aboriginal Health Service, Gugan Gulwan Aboriginal Corporation and Yeddung Mura Aboriginal Corporation in supporting both the vaccination rollout and also those members of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community who have been directly affected by this outbreak.

Madam Speaker, we also perform well above the national average in vaccination uptake for people with disability. The most recent commonwealth data from 28 October shows that, depending on age, at least 85 per cent of NDIS participants have received one COVID-19 vaccine dose. This compares with a national first dose uptake for NDIS participants of only 77.4 per cent for participants 16 and older and 59.1 per cent for participants 12 to 15.

The ACT government has taken additional steps in protecting Canberrans who rely on in-home community support to complete their day-to-day activities. On 1 November, with the support of the community, the Chief Health Officer introduced a public health direction that requires disability and aged-care workers to have received at least one dose by 15 November and to be fully vaccinated by 13 December.

Municipal services—swimming pools

MR MILLIGAN: My question is to the Minister for Sport and Recreation or, today, to the Chief Minister. We have a swimming pool problem in the ACT. The budget funding for Civic pool mysteriously stops at the end of 2021. Gungahlin’s pool is closed due to retiling that is needed and the government will not say when it will open. Phillip pool has lost revenue from the ice skating rink over the lockdown period and your government has given the owners permission to go against their lease conditions and not open this summer. Will the government provide a lockdown business support payment to the Phillip pool and assist it to open before the end of this summer?

MR BARR: I thank Mr Milligan for the question. Clearly there are a number of separate issues pertaining to the age of particular swimming pool infrastructure contained within his question. He is seeking an announcement of policy from me now,


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