Economic recovery needs Canberrans spending and businesses operating


Shadow Business Minister and Assistant Shadow Minister for Economic Development Leanne Castley is calling on the Labor-Greens Government to encourage more people to eat, drink and shop in town centres to help the local economy bounce back from COVID-19.

Ms Castley will move a motion in the Legislative Assembly today that calls for free parking and off-peak travel on public transport after 6pm and on weekends until March 2022.

“Canberra’s economic recovery relies on businesses being able to operate, but also on getting people through the door and spending,” Ms Castley said.

“Now that the ACT has reached 95 per cent of our population fully vaccinated, the Canberra Liberals want to get people back to our town centres and back to spending money with local business to stimulate our economy.

“By making public transport and government parking free after 6pm, we can encourage more Canberrans to head into town centres and the city during the summer months.

“The ACT Labor-Greens Government have ignored business, completely bungled the financial support scheme for businesses, and until recently, restricted how businesses could operate.

“Time and time again this Labor-Greens Government fails to look after businesses doing it tough.”

Google mobility data shows that restaurants, cafes and shopping centres saw 40 per cent reductions in local traffic during lockdown, with the latest data showing that these businesses are still seeing traffic 12 per cent lower than normal.

“This initiative alone won’t solve the issues businesses are facing after nine weeks of lockdown and as a result of ongoing restrictions, but it will encourage more people spending with local hospitality and retail businesses.

“We encourage the Labor-Greens Government to look at policy that drives economic growth and brings hospitality and retail jobs back to Canberra,” Ms Castley concluded.