The ACT Government has committed to independently and comprehensively reviewing the Choose CBR digital voucher scheme in the wake of backlash from the Opposition.
The Canberra Liberals have questioned the integrity of the program, with the discount vouchers coming to a close when the full $2 million in funding was exhausted, a little over 24 hours after it was relaunched last week.
ACT Business Minister, Tara Cheyne, has defended the program but said the design and implementation of the program is now up for evaluation.
“Through this process, the Government will analyse the spread of activity across businesses and consumers.”
“The findings from this process will be publicly released.”
News of the review come as the Minister also released new details about the scheme and its use throughout its short run.
Ms Cheyne said the program resulted in more than $5.1 million dollars being spent in ACT Businesses.
“There was a good spread of voucher redemptions, with almost 800 businesses having redeemed vouchers from more than 30,000 registered customer accounts.”
The top six business types for voucher redemption were:
- Food retailing (e.g. grocers and fresh meat, fish and poultry retailing): 37.1%
- Cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services: 25.9%
- Recreational goods retailing (e.g. sport and camping equipment, toys, newspaper and book retailers): 7.6%
- Pharmaceutical, cosmetic and toiletry goods retailing: 6.2%
- Personal services: 5.8%
- Clothing, footwear and personal accessory retailing: 3.7%
An unnamed Gungahlin business claimed the single highest number of vouchers with 3.3% of all vouchers being used there.
The Canberra Liberals will move a motion in the ACT Assembly on Tuesday, calling for a comprehensive audit of the scheme.
Shadow Businesses Minister, Leanne Casltey wants to know how it the program was monitored after the funds dried up ‘so quickly’.
“Canberrans must have confidence the government got it right and ChooseCBR supported struggling businesses that genuinely needed help.”