ACT Inquiry into the COVID-19 2021 pandemic response consultation
In September 2021, the ACT Legislative Assembly invited public consultation on the ACT Government’s response to the 2021 COVID-19 pandemic.
The Salvation Army’s submission draws on our extensive experience, strong connections and trusted relationships working in the local Canberra community, including at our centrally-located Braddon Corps which continued to operate during lockdown, (under strict COVID-19-safe conditions), to provide food and other essential support.
The Salvation Army gave feedback on the social impacts stemming from the lockdown for some of the most vulnerable members of our community and our experience of the ACT Government’s actions and supports during the lockdown.
Positive feedback was given about the level of engagement with the community services sector, including through frequent briefings to the sector and utilisation of Corps Officers and Doorways staff as a source of assistance to those in need.
Concerns were raised in the submission regarding the need for those accessing short term food delivery services to be pointed toward more sustainable supports, like that of the Salvation Army, to avoid people feeling abandoned.
Our Submission provided recommendations regarding improved outreach and the benefits of further targeted, sustained communication with community-based organisations according to their areas of expertise and community reach in the event of a future outbreak in the Territory.
We also provided feedback to ensure housing and short-term quarantine accommodation for the most vulnerable in the community, to avoid people ‘falling through the cracks’ should a future outbreak take place.
The Committee tabled its final report on the inquiry on 2 December.