Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 12 Hansard (Tuesday, 23 November 2021) . . Page.. 3532 ..
year, the education minister promised 400 teachers. This budget delivers 188 job cuts. If the government does not believe us, it should listen to the teachers themselves. Ninety-one per cent of schools say they are negatively impacted by a lack of staff, 95 per cent believe these staff shortages are serious, and a third of all teachers consider leaving education in their first three years, with half not recommending it as a profession.
After 20 consecutive Labor budgets, these issues are on your heads. The Labor Party and the Greens deny this is even an issue, claiming that once again they know best. And when it comes to their gigantic deficits and the mounting billions of dollars of debt, they do not even bother with a fake band-aid. Even with the prospect of rising interest rates and ballooning interest payments each year, they simply do not care. This is neglect of the highest order—neglect that jeopardises the economic wellbeing of future generations of Canberrans. Canberra families deserve better than this. They deserve a government that respects their tax dollars and that delivers on its promises on time and on budget.
To recover from COVID-19 and ensure that no-one is left behind we must back business by creating an environment where Canberrans want to create, innovate and invest—building a more vibrant and diverse city for all. We need to shift our focus to deliverables and outcomes, not headlines and blueprints. Our health and education systems should be the best in the nation, not the worst. We should be a city that attracts world-class talent, educators and health professionals. The decisions that those opposite take in the next 12 months will determine the trajectory of our economic recovery. This government could have paved a bold new path out of this pandemic, towards a stronger and more secure future, but instead, the 20th consecutive Labor budget delivered a band-aid and no solutions to issues of the government’s own making.
MR DAVIS (Brindabella) (4.35): I rise to reply to the 2021-22 ACT budget in my capacity as ACT Greens spokesperson for tourism and economic development, sports and recreation, LGBTQIA+ people and small business.
COVID-19 has had a profound impact on Canberra’s small business and tourism sectors. This is in part due to the ACT’s public health measures, but also because the local economy is responsive to our local region. Small businesses have shown resilience and ingenuity in adapting to the changing business environment, including developing online businesses to accommodate click and collect. Businesses known for craft and textiles produced PPE, pumping out masks. And we all know that Garry Malhotra from Ken Behrens Helping Hands turned his kitchen into a food bank, pumping out thousands of meals to those doing it tough throughout the lockdown and beyond. It is a testament to the role of the business sector in our community.
Targeted relief and stimulus will ensure that our economy remains resilient and continues to grow as we recover from the pandemic. Relief included the COVID-19 business support grants—the single largest grant scheme in the history of self-government—which directly put money into businesses to assist them to survive the lockdown, to build resilient strategies to survive the pandemic and to grow now that we are out of lockdown. Public servants came together from across government