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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 12 Hansard (Tuesday, 23 November 2021) . . Page.. 3501 ..


handful that people are required to be at a shopfront for. But if people do want that extra assistance or do need that face-to-face assistance, for whatever reason, of course we are there to assist them. We have been working with the community and providing advice about wait times. We have also put into place mobile queuing to assist people where they have been waiting in line for perhaps a longer period than they would have expected. We have been offering them seating inside if they have needed it or water.

MADAM SPEAKER: Mr Cain, a supplementary.

MR CAIN: Minister, have you provided more resources to Access Canberra over and above the 54.5 full-time equivalents, rather than moving the staff around, to meet the extra demand?

MS CHEYNE: There are a lot of demands on Access Canberra’s services right across its functions. Mr Cain would be aware that in the recent budget there is actually a significant investment in Access Canberra in a number of functions that it does. We are supporting Canberrans at the shopfronts and, as we discussed in the select committee yesterday, Access Canberra is actually servicing more people each day than it was this time last year when the requirements were not there. Access Canberra is meeting its responsibilities to the community.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary, Ms Lawder.

MS LAWDER: Minister, if the current level of demand continues, will you be permanently increasing the front-line service delivery staff at Access Canberra?

MS CHEYNE: The work health and safety of our front-line staff is a priority for us. We have been engaging with staff on how best to support them. What I am pleased to say is that we have been tracking demand very closely and demand is going down. We did see a peak where wait times were around two hours, but those wait times have been coming down. At one point last week Tuggeranong service centre had the lowest wait time of nine minutes, but generally it was hovering around an hour. It is still continuing to come down. We have also implemented, as I mentioned, mobile queuing. So someone can use a mobile phone to scan a QR code and then get advice about when they are due back when they are at the front of the line, which assists them in going about doing other things or perhaps resting in the shade.

Municipal services—shopping centre upgrades

MS ORR: My question is to the Minister for Transport and City Services: how are upgrades to local shops supporting lively suburbs in our region?

MR STEEL: I thank Ms Orr for her question. In a week where we are debating the ACT budget and its record investments in health, education and the overall territory economic performance, it is also important to outline projects that are small but make a real difference to benefit Canberrans at the local level.

Local shops are important hubs in the community, providing services, jobs and often acting as the heart of a neighbourhood. That is why our government is helping to


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