Treasurer’s message Our vision for Canberra: for an even better Canberra Where our money goes Where our money comes from Health and education investment for Canberra Economic growth and diversification for Canberra Suburban renewal and better transport for Canberra Enhancing liveability and social inclusion for Canberra Economic outlook Fiscal outlook and strategy
Health & education investment for Canberra
There are no higher priorities for the ACT Government than health and education.
Over half of the ACT Government budget is dedicated to health and education. This budget includes $237 million in new initiatives for health, and $70 million in new funding for education.
Health for Canberra
We have a high quality health system in the ACT, but we are constantly working to improve. Canberra deserves a world class health system and the initiatives in this year’s budget help deliver that.
Canberra has the healthiest and most active community in the country. But about one in 10 Canberrans were admitted to hospital in the last year, and most of us used the health system in some way.
The ACT Government has invested significantly in the Canberra Hospital and the Centenary Hospital for Women and Children. Building on this, we are expanding the Canberra Hospital emergency department, and increasing the resources available for intensive care and trauma. The Government is also providing an additional senior specialist physician in the Calvary Hospital emergency department.
Stroke services will improve at the Canberra and Calvary hospitals and we are funding an extra 300 endoscopy procedures. Increased outpatient services will ensure that patients are treated in the most appropriate and timely manner possible.
An expansion of the neo-natal intensive care unit and the special care nursery will care for our newest Canberrans when they need it most.
We are also targeting the needs of vulnerable communities, with an emphasis on sexual health and enhancing drug addiction services.
Community health care
About one in five Australians will suffer from a mental illness in any given year. This budget will provide $56 million to support good mental health in the community, including specialised support for children and adolescents, and follow-up assistance for those finishing treatment.
The Government is starting planning work on a new health clinic in Civic, improving services to Canberrans managing acute and chronic conditions.
Construction has started on the University of Canberra Public Hospital, which will be Canberra’s third public hospital, providing an environment focused on rehabilitation and support.
A world class health system
The ACT Government is making sure that Canberrans have access to cutting edge medical technology and expertise, with new initiatives such as the deep brain stimulation service, targeting patients with Parkinson’s disease, and the establishment of the Canberra Clinical Genomic Service.
Preventative health care
Investing in preventative health measures keeps Canberra healthy. We are building on our existing programs, focusing on healthy weight and active living.
We are continuing work on the ACT Health System Innovation Program, which ensures that Canberrans can access the best health care at the best value.
Education for all
Canberrans are choosing our excellent public schools. In 2016, enrolments in public schools have grown to almost 45,000 – which is around 60 per cent of the ACT school student population.
The ACT Government is matching the increase in enrolments with an increase in funding. In 2016-17, the Government will provide ACT schools with an additional $7 million to reflect increased enrolments.
The ACT Government is further supporting this growth with investments in new schools and in improving our existing schools.
This year has seen the opening of the Charles Weston School in Coombs. Work has commenced on a new primary school in North Gungahlin, scheduled to open for the 2019 school year. The Government is also increasing the capacity of Gungahlin schools and preschools by an additional 680 students.
The Government is developing a strategy to ensure that Canberra’s schools are best able to meet the needs of Canberra students, now and into the future. As part of this process, every school will undergo an external panel review every five years and use the National School Improvement Tool for an internal review each year. This new approach will provide a clear picture of how schools are performing.
We are building the skills of our teachers, with a particular focus on STEM subjects – science, technology, engineering and maths – by providing scholarships to allow for professional development and training.
Meeting the needs of all students
In response to the Report of the Expert Panel on Students with Complex Needs and Challenging Behaviours, the ACT Government is focused on making sure our schools meet the needs of all students. We are strengthening the capacity of schools to support long-term educational outcomes for students with complex and challenging behaviours through teacher training, specialist staff and support services and by making sure our school buildings provide for an inclusive environment.
Vocational education and training
The ACT Government supports vocational education and training, with the appointment of Meegan Fitzharris as the inaugural Minister for Higher Education, Training and Research in January of this year. Funding for vocational education will reach $140 million in 2016-17.
Work is underway on a new Tuggeranong CIT campus to provide a modern educational hub in the Tuggeranong town centre.