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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 11 Hansard (Wednesday, 10 November 2021) . . Page.. 3246 ..


It is really important for me in responding to this question to thank all of the staff at Access Canberra for their exceptional hard work supporting our community over this difficult period. They provided information and assistance on a scale without precedence and following a very difficult 18 months of bushfire, hail and a previous lockdown, and they did it for Canberrans dealing with all of the challenges of the pandemic and the lockdown. They should be absolutely commended for their professionalism, their dedication and their care.

DR PATERSON: Minister, now that we are out of lockdown how is Access Canberra transitioning to resuming service delivery in the COVID-safe way?

MS CHEYNE: I thank Dr Paterson for the supplementary. From 1 November, all service centres except for Dickson reopened for business-as-usual operating hours. The Dickson service centre is continuing to operate as a land titles service office, continuing to operate by appointment and as a drop-and-run service for our legal practitioners. This is a temporary arrangement which will be maintained until February, subject to review.

As expected, since reopening, service centres have experienced some longer than normal wait times and queues as a result of pent-up demand for services and the ongoing need to observe density limits within each service centre for both customers and for staff. We expect service centres to continue to be very busy over the coming weeks, and I encourage people to consider delaying non-urgent transactions or seeing if their transaction is one of the more than 450 that can be completed online. Canberrans can also look online to see what the wait times may be. They have been on average 67 minutes.

I thank the overwhelming majority of Canberrans for their patience and understanding during this time. Regrettably and unfortunately, there have been a number of unacceptable instances of occupational violence against Access Canberra staff. Every worker should feel safe and respected at work, and we will not tolerate abuse. I remind our community that all our frontline workers must be treated with respect, undertaking the important work they do to support our community.

MRS JONES: Minister, have you taken any decision or have any decisions been made regarding restarting driver licence tests, as I have received some concerns from the multicultural community that they are not able to be undertaken at the moment.

MS CHEYNE: Driver licence testing is something we are actively considering. We have certainly heard feedback from the community. We are considering this in line with the easing of restrictions. My expectation is that this is likely to recommence perhaps next week. I will come back if that advice requires updating. But I reflect that driver licence testing requires people to be in even closer quarters than they might otherwise be in a service centre, and our primary consideration has been the safety of our staff. But we are working through it and we have certainly heard that feedback.

Planning—housing affordability

MS LAWDER: My question is to the Minister for Housing and Suburban Development—or, today, the Chief Minister. Chief Minister, in Taylor stage 1B,


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