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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2020 Week 05 Hansard (Thursday, 4 June 2020) . . Page.. 1200 ..

This bill seeks to amend the Financial Management Act to increase the appropriation during the 2020-21 supply period from 50 per cent to 100 per cent of the 2019-20 appropriation acts. The government has considered a strict approach to limit the amendment to the 2020-21 financial year only. The additional supply is necessary to provide enough expenditure until the appropriation bill 2020-21 can be passed through the new Legislative Assembly, following October’s election.

The government will continue to publicly provide details in relation to expenditure decisions made by cabinet during the supply period. Through this bill the government continue to that ensure we can provide the necessary economic support to focus on recovery for the ACT community during these most unusual of times. I commend the bill to the Assembly.

Debate (on motion by Mr Coe) adjourned to the next sitting.

Public Health Amendment Bill 2020

Ms Stephen-Smith, pursuant to notice, presented the bill, its explanatory statement and a Human Rights Act compatibility statement.

Title read by Clerk.

MS STEPHEN-SMITH (Kurrajong—Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs, Minister for Children, Youth and Families and Minister for Health) (10.32): I move:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

On Monday, 16 March 2020 a public health emergency was declared in the ACT in response to the significant public health risk to the Canberra community posed by COVID-19. Since then there have been 107 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Canberra and, sadly, three deaths. The fact that there are currently no active cases in the territory is a testament to the work of the ACT community and Australians more broadly in responding to the pandemic.

During this public health emergency the Chief Health Officer, Dr Kerryn Coleman, has acted swiftly to issue public health directions to protect our community and also to adjust those directions as it became safe to do so. The Chief Health Officer may make more directions in the coming months if it is necessary to further protect the ACT community from COVID-19.

There are robust and transparent processes surrounding the issuing of directions by the Chief Health Officer, and I have reported to the Assembly on the implementation of those directions on a regular basis to ensure the highest level of accountability and open government.

The government response to COVID-19 is underpinned by a strong evidence base informed by our own Chief Health Officer and her team in communicable disease control and the broader Public Health Emergency Coordination Centre, but also

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