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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 11 Hansard (Thursday, 11 November 2021) . . Page.. 3369 ..

(e) with restrictions easing after lockdown, providing designated areas of paid parking in select areas of the city and some town centres during particularly busy periods, like Friday evenings, to encourage turnover and support greater patronage of local businesses;

(f) providing free parking across all ACT Government-owned carparks across the Territory during both COVID-19 lockdowns;

(g) expanding bus services significantly by providing an extra 692 weekday bus services and an extra 236 Saturday services;

(h) providing late night light rail services; and

(i) providing significantly discounted fares for all public transport travel after 6 pm and on weekends, including free travel during those periods for seniors and concession MyWay card holders; and

(3) calls on the ACT Government to continue working with businesses to identify ways to encourage more Canberrans into town centres, including by exploring:

(a) further opportunities for outdoor dining and the activation of unleased public spaces; and

(b) COVID-safe public events linked to major seasonal celebrations like Christmas and New Year’s Eve.”.

My amendments seek to do two things. The first is to correct the factual inaccuracies that plague her original motion, including her claim that Canberra’s night-time economy brings in just $3.35 million. In actual fact, it brings in $3.35 billion. Secondly, I want to put on the record the range of things our government has done, and continues to do, to support Canberra’s night-time economy through the COVID public health emergency and beyond.

My colleague Ms Cheyne will speak on the issues of business support and economic recovery raised in Ms Castley’s motion, but I would like to address some of the issues related to parking and public transport first.

Our government has been agile in responding to the needs of Canberra businesses and the Canberra community during the COVID-19 pandemic, which has lasted for almost two years now.

In April last year, only a few weeks after the pandemic hit Canberra, the government implemented free 15-minute parking in various places around Braddon, Woden, Belconnen and Tuggeranong, to support takeaway pick-up from local restaurants and cafes during lockdown. This complemented other measures which we put in place to support businesses at this time, including free three-month commercial liquor permits to allow on-licensed businesses to provide takeaway alcohol. These changes proved to be so well supported, by businesses and patrons alike, that we have kept them in place to this day.

In addition, in the most recent lockdown, the government once again took quick and decisive action to support our town centres by pausing all pay parking across the territory. This not only encouraged takeaway patronage of our restaurants and cafes,

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