Fiscal outlook & strategy

The 2016-17 Budget demonstrates the Government’s commitment to a fiscal strategy that achieves an operating balance over time, offsetting temporary deficits with surpluses in other periods. Key to this strategy is the responsible management of the Territory’s public finances, balancing sustainable taxation revenues with a high standard of service delivery.

In this budget, the ACT Government is supporting the economy in the short-term, and continuing to deliver appropriate services to the community, while building a strong operating balance over the medium-term. The Headline Net Operating Balance is a deficit of $94.3 million in 2016-17, moving to a surplus of $66 million by 2019-20.

With an eye to the long-term, the ACT Government continues its significant investment in infrastructure, be that in transport, schools or the health sector.

This strong fiscal strategy has given Canberra the flexibility required to deal with events as they happen. The Government has been able to support the ACT economy in the face of savage Commonwealth Government cuts over recent years, and we have been able to deliver a coordinated and compassionate response to the complex issue that is asbestos removal.

But we have not abandoned our fiscal strategy, and we have remained on a consistent path to surplus.

This commitment has meant that the Territory has retained its AAA stable credit rating (as assessed by Standard & Poor’s), one of only three States and Territories in Australia to hold this highest possible rating.

Net debt remains at prudent levels as a share of Gross State Product, and is broadly in line with other AAA rated jurisdictions.

Budget aggregates ($millions)

ACT 2016-17 2017-18 2018-19 2019-20
Headline net operating balance -94.3 -35.0 33.3 66.0
Net debt 2,080.2 2,103.8 2,902.7 2,581.3

ACT Government expenditure

  $ millions
Healthy and smart 2,760.1
Health and community care 1,553.0
Government schooling 736.6
Non Government schooling 281.5
Vocational education and training 140.1
Sport and recreation 48.9
  $ millions
Urban renewal 817.2
Territory and municipal services 308.4
Public transport 186.5
Environment, sustainability and land management 322.3
  $ millions
Growing the economy 549.2
Chief Minister, treasury and revenue management 221.0
Planning and regulation 179.4
VisitCanberra, venues, events, innovation, trade and investment 68.7
Executive, Legislative Assembly, Auditor General and Electoral Commissioner 46.4
Arts, culture and heritage 33.8
  $ millions
Liveability and opportunity 1,020.8
Disability and community services 326.3
Justice and community safety 208.9
Housing 184.0
Policing 157.7
Emergency services 143.9

ACT Government expenditure infographic - $810.1 million on local government services; $4.3 billion on state government services

Kingston foreshore

Previous page