2017-18 ACT Budget – Delivering a better Canberra

My Government went to the last election with a positive plan for vibrant renewal right across our city and suburbs.

This Budget starts delivering it.

Canberra has made huge strides in the past two decades, from the growth of Gungahlin and the maturing of Tuggeranong to the creation and renewal of New Acton, Kingston Foreshore and Braddon. Economically, we’ve grown from a one company town to a confident and diversified city.

But there is plenty more we can do to make the city we love even better. That starts with renewing our schools, hospitals, infrastructure, our neighbourhoods and public spaces.

We are going to keep building on Canberra’s potential.

We are renovating Canberra’s schools by delivering classroom and facilities upgrades across the Territory, expanding four Gungahlin schools and getting planning underway for a new school in the Molonglo Valley.

We are renewing our city’s health services, through delivering more Walk in Centres, getting planning underway for the significant new SPIRE Centre at the Canberra Hospital and expanding the Centenary Hospital for Women and Children.

At the same time as the City Renewal Authority delivers a better CBD, we are investing right across the Territory to revitalise our town centres and clean up our suburbs. This includes delivering the next stage of the West Basin boardwalk, expanding the Belconnen Arts Centre precinct, and investing more to clean up graffiti, cut litter and keep our ovals green.

And we are overhauling our transport system to keep Canberra moving by expanding the light rail network. With new investment to design the route for Stage 2 to Woden, we are better linking that town centre with our city’s heart.

We can do all this because we have maintained a focus on keeping the Budget strong and sustainable. We have cut the deficit by a further $46 million this year, and remain on track to get back to balance in 2018-19.

Our economy has also strengthened, with growth well above the national average and over 3,200 jobs created in the past 12 months. Creating and maintaining good jobs for Canberrans will continue to be a focus for my Government in the years ahead.

With this Budget, we are laying down an ambitious agenda for Canberra over the next four years. By delivering the renewal we promised, my Government is working every day to ensure this city keeps getting better for all Canberrans.

What’s in this Budget for …


Canberra families will benefit from even more investment in better schools, good local healthcare and more support through tough times.

  • Refurbished classrooms across ACT schools. We will invest $85 million to upgrade and extend classrooms and school facilities to create better spaces for our kids to learn.
  • Safer walking and cycling around schools. We will introduce school crossing supervisors and make safety improvements to crossings at 20 schools across Canberra.
  • More Walk in Centres. We will deliver and start planning for new Walk in Centres, including in Gungahlin, the Weston Creek region and the inner north.
  • An expanded Centenary Hospital for Women and Children. We will improve and expand maternity and paediatric services including upgrading the High Dependency Unit.
  • Family Safety Hub pilot. We will pilot a new Hub to link up existing family violence services and ensure those experiencing family violence receive seamless, integrated and holistic support.
  • Supporting mental health for vulnerable Canberrans. We will deliver more targeted mental health support for new mums, children and teenagers through community partners like headspace and PANDSI.

Older Canberrans

This Budget delivers more initiatives to help older Canberrans with the cost of living and stay connected to our community.

  • Free off-peak bus travel for seniors and concession card holders. We will continue the trial of free off-peak travel for seniors and concession card holders to make it more affordable to get around.
  • Investing in community transport. We will trial a flexible bus service for the inner north, and continue the work of the Community Transport Coordination Centre.
  • More bulk billing GPs. We will support new and expanded bulk billing services on Canberra’s southside through grants to medical practices.
  • Better acute aged care facilities. We will refurbish and upgrade the acute aged care and oncology wards at the Canberra Hospital to deliver better care for patients.
  • Upskilling for older workers. We will support older workers to up-skill or retrain so that they can take advantage of new work opportunities.

Local businesses

Strong local businesses help broaden our economic base and create more good, local jobs. This budget will continue making it easier for local firms to do business and attract more visitors to our city to boost our local tourism, hospitality and retail industries.

  • Encouraging outdoor dining. We will give businesses with outdoor seating one month free on ACT Government permit fees.
  • A more vibrant nightlife. We will cut licence fees to encourage more small and medium venues to open.
  • Helping Canberra businesses to diversify, grow and innovate. We will invest in more outreach, trade and investment facilitation to take local businesses to the world.
  • A new Major Events Fund. We will attract more major events and shows to the Territory to boost domestic tourism.
  • Revitalising local town centres. We will upgrade and improve the Gungahlin, Tuggeranong and Kambah centres to help attract more local custom.

All of us

This Budget will deliver better local services and events to make Canberra even more lively and liveable as our city continues to grow.

  • New and better events. We will continue to grow Canberra’s events calendar and support popular events like Enlighten, SpringOUT and the Canberra Writers Festival.
  • A more creative capital. We will boost support for music and the arts, including Kulture Break, the ANU School of Music, the Art, Not Apart festival and local artists.
  • Better footpaths and cycleways. We will deliver better footpaths, more pedestrian refuges and improved cycleways across Canberra for more active living.
  • Cleaning up our suburbs. We will improve the appearance of our city and suburbs through more maintenance, weeding and graffiti prevention.
  • Improving major venues. We will make more improvements to major venues including Exhibition Park, GIO Stadium, Manuka Oval, Stromlo Forest Park and the National Arboretum.


Media Release: The 2017 ACT Budget is delivering a better Canberra