Page 1743 - Week 06 - Thursday, 30 July 2020

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . . Video

MRS JONES: Minister, is the $30 million you talked about new money to be appropriated in the 2020-21 budget?

MS STEPHEN-SMITH: Yes, Madam Speaker.

MRS DUNNE: Can you assure the Assembly that when you announced a $30 million initiative none of the money for that $30 million initiative was rolled over from the 2019-20 appropriation?

MS STEPHEN-SMITH: I will take the detail of the question on notice, but what I can assure the Assembly is that it is $30 million allocated to elective surgery, outpatient appointments and other procedures that was not previously allocated for this financial year. So $20 million of that, as Mrs Jones identified, will deliver an additional 2,000 elective surgeries compared what would have previously been the case in 2020-21.

Government—community support

MS CHEYNE: My question is to the Minister for Community Services and Facilities. Minister, how is the ACT government ensuring that Canberrans in need are able to access food and other essential items?

MS ORR: I thank Ms Cheyne for the question. In March this year I announced the $1.5 million food relief package, which is part of the overall $9 million community support package delivered by the ACT government. The Canberra Relief Network was established to ensure that Canberrans in need can still access essential goods and items during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Canberra Relief Network is a group of almost 20 emergency food relief and community service organisations in Canberra working together to ensure that all Canberrans have access to food and other essential items.

As of Friday last week, the Canberra Relief Network had recorded more than 5,800 calls from Canberrans in need, as well as broader community interest to support the initiative. Since commencing the delivery of food hampers on 1 April 2020, almost 6,000 standard food hampers have been delivered. In addition, more than 100 gluten-free hampers and more than 1,000 hygiene hampers have been delivered, supporting over 200 local women with sanitary items and more than 200 local families with baby items such as nappies and baby wipes.

Aside from providing necessary food items to Canberrans in need, the Canberra Relief Network is founded on the principle of supporting our local organisations that served the Canberra community long before the breakout of COVID-19. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who have worked alongside the Canberra Relief Network, including the amazing volunteers. The COVID-19 pandemic has again demonstrated the caring nature of Canberrans. Their enduring commitment to provide much-needed support and services to Canberrans who are experiencing increased pressures during this time of uncertainty is deeply appreciated.

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . . Video