Through the 2019-20 ACT Budget we are investing in better suburbs with more mowing, cleaning and litter removal, better waste management, and a boost to community infrastructure including our local shops, playgrounds and dog parks.
The special character of our regions and suburbs is a big part of what makes Canberra such a great place to live. Our investments in city services through this year’s Budget will make sure they keep getting even better.
Planting more trees
We are commencing the largest program of tree planting since 2000, to protect and enhance Canberra’s great natural environment and support climate change adaptation by increasing the city’s tree canopy.
Over the next four years we will add over 17,000 new trees to the urban forest. This planting will particularly focus on suburban streets currently lacking canopy cover and areas where the canopy is at risk of decline with the age of existing trees. We will get started on this big tree planting push while we prepare an Urban Forest Strategy for delivery within 12 months, which will map out longer-term targets for Canberra’s green canopy.
We will also begin a large-scale tree propagation program at Yarralumla Nursery and engage with Canberrans through a series of community activations to ensure the planting program delivers on the community’s priorities.
Improving our local shopping centres
Our city is growing, so we’re investing in more car parking spaces at our local shopping centres, building new and better playgrounds for our kids, and delivering on our election commitment to roll out recycling bins across shopping centres and high activity areas.
We will deliver up to 25 new permanent parking spaces at the busy Palmerston shops, and up to a further 150 temporary parking spaces at Cooleman Court in Weston Creek. The temporary parking will help improve access to Cooleman Court while the new group centre at Molonglo is built, as well as supporting our investments in the new Walk-in Centre and the new rapid bus network which better services Weston Creek.
We will progressively deliver an additional 150 public bins across the city at local shops and other high demand areas, making it easier for Canberrans to recycle.
We will undertake amenity upgrades for Dunlop and Fraser residents, with improvements at the local shops to landscaping and footpaths. The Dunlop shops will also get a community notice board so residents can stay informed, and a shade sail at the playground.
Investing in new and better playgrounds for Canberra’s kids
We want to create spaces for children of all ages to have fun, be creative and experience different kinds of play.
Last year we delivered a series of playspace reviews to help us design our playgrounds in partnership with local communities. We are using this information to start delivering playground improvements and new play activities, including new and upgraded play spaces for Richardson, Waramanga, Torrens, Narrabundah and Higgins.
Families near Yerrabi Pond in Gungahlin and the Kambah Adventure Playground can also look forward to new natural play spaces providing creative and imaginative experiences for kids, using elements from the landscape like logs and rocks to encourage children to climb, jump and explore.
More recycling and a plan for waste infrastructure
We need to plan ahead to make sure Canberra keeps becoming more sustainable as our community grows. The ACT Government has an ambitious target to divert 90 per cent of waste from landfill. We’re building a circular economy to recover more waste from landfill and helping Canberrans become Australia’s best recyclers.
That’s why this Budget invests in a major upgrade to Canberra’s Material Recovery Facility in Hume, ensuring that more recycled material can be recovered from yellow-lid bins.
We are also planning for a food and garden organics processing site and facility to help work towards more food waste being recycled instead of ending up in landfill.
This ongoing investment in better recycling and waste management will be supported through a levy on disposal of waste, bringing the ACT into line with New South Wales and other Australian jurisdictions.
Improving safety through more compliance officers
We want all Canberrans to feel safe and relaxed when using our parks, footpaths and other public spaces. So we are hiring a dedicated team of six compliance officers for the for the existing licencing and compliance team to step up the enforcement of laws which make Canberra safe and liveable.
The team will initially focus on dog management, ensuring a safer community for people and their pets.
The 2019-20 Budget will see a step up in city services because we want to make sure Canberrans in every suburb have access to more trees and parks, better playgrounds and great public spaces we can continue to be proud of.