ACT Opposition Leader Elizabeth Lee said a clear plan and greater certainty was needed around how the territory would move forward beyond lockdown.
Ms Lee said businesses were crying out for clarity about how they could recommence their services, while others were incredibly frustrated about the wait for government support.
In an interview with The Canberra Times, the Canberra Liberals leader praised frontline workers and volunteers who had worked to keep Canberrans safe.
As an opposition leader during the lockdown, she said her role was tricky and there was a balance between the public health measures and advocating for parts of the community who felt let down by parts of the response.
"During this time, obviously, our role is to support the Canberra community in any and every way possible," Ms Lee said.
Ms Lee has been largely supportive of the lockdown and public health measures. When the lockdown started, she even offered her staff to Chief Minister Andrew Barr to help with the response, saying they could assist with answering calls on the overwhelmed hotline.
But she has been critical of how the government has handled some aspects of the response, including delays in support payments to businesses and pressure on testing sites.
"There is a proportion of our community who are doing it really tough and feel that they have been let down," Ms Lee said.
"For months now they have been assured by this government that they were ready, that they were prepared in the event of a lockdown.
"When you look at the delays to accessing business support payments, the huge line-ups when it came to testing right at the beginning of lockdown, communications from ACT Health to people who were in quarantine.
"And obviously the really, really worrying situation that we're seeing with the outbreaks in some of our public housing sectors.
"They are rightfully concerned about where was all that preparation and they're really, really concerned about what this might mean for them moving forward."
Employing businesses that have suffered a downturn of 30 per cent are eligible for a $20,000 one-off payment, which is jointly funded by the ACT and federal governments.
The program was established on the second day of Canberra's lockdown but applications for the grant only opened last week. Mr Barr has previously said this was to ensure there was no fraud.
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Ms Lee said the application process was proving to be cumbersome for some businesses, and she was worried about further delays in actually receiving the money.
"The delay to actually receiving payments, for some businesses I think it's going to be two months or more and it's difficult because they need that help now," she said.
While Ms Lee has not spoken publicly often during the lockdown, preferring to write to the Chief Minister, her federal counterpart ACT Senator Zed Seselja has been more vocal.
Senator Seselja was very critical of the ACT government's move to shut construction and encouraged constituents to pressure the Barr government to reopen the sector.
This prompted the chief minister to accuse the senator of making a "political pot shot", saying Canberrans would be disgusted.
But Ms Lee also said businesses and the wider community would appreciate more certainty about the path forward.
"I think that every sector of our community would welcome a little bit more certainty and a clear plan moving forward," she said.
"There's no doubt that the Delta variant is a different beast. And we are seeing various jurisdictions around Australia, who are starting to acknowledge and deal with the fact that we may have to deal with this variant for the long term.
"And if so, what does that transition, the safe transition out of lockdown look like?"
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