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The Canberra Times
The Canberra Times
Megan Doherty

ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr is all about The Big Issue

ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr took to the streets of Civic on Friday helping to sell copies of The Big Issue, saying it was a little "easier than spruiking for votes".

"People are generally quite nice and accommodating," he said.

Bryan selling The Big Issue in Civic with Chief Minister Andrew Barr.

Mr Barr donned the high-vis for his sixth turn at selling the magazine which helps provide an income to people who are facing "homelessness, marginalisation and disadvantage".

In Australia, more than 800 vendors sell The Big Issue each year. Vendors purchase copies of the magazine for $4.50 and sell them for $9, earning a meaningful income.

Mr Barr joined Canberra vendor Bryan, well-known at Jamieson, selling the magazine near the Aldi entrance of the Canberra Centre as part of The Big Issue's annual CEO Selling event.

"It's an opportunity for CEOs and politicians to spend a little bit of time in the shoes of the vendors," he said, adding the magazine was "a good read and a terrific way for people to support the vendors".

The Big Issue CEO Steven Persson praised the CEOs and politicians for getting involved.

"By standing with the vendors, they are sending the message to the community that vendors are legitimate businesspeople who are working hard to change their lives," he said.

"I hope it encourages many out there to meet their local vendor and purchase a copy of the magazine."

The Big Issue was also celebrating more than 13 million copies sold of the magazine since starting in 1996, providing $30 million to vendors.

A super-keen Canberra Raiders fan, who has been selling The Big Issue for 10 years Bryan uses the money he earns from magazine to fund holidays, vendor support coordinator Kate Dawson said.

"It really does make a big difference to people's lives by providing them with that little big of extra income," she said.

The current edition of The Big Issue features legend cricketer Shane Warne on the cover who says in the profile his parents were his heroes and the biggest lessons he learnt from his dad were "nothing comes easy, hard work will pay off and manners are free".

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