The ACT Government is investing today to grow services and infrastructure that can meet our community’s needs in the years ahead.
Canberra is one of the fastest growing communities in Australia, so we have to invest now to make sure our hospitals and healthcare centres, our schools, social infrastructure and transport networks are ready in the new decade.
The federal Coalition Government has not invested in Canberra over the past six years. The ACT has received just 0.8 per cent of national infrastructure funding during the Coalition’s last two terms, despite our strong and consistent population growth.
With the Coalition having just been returned for a further term in government, there is little prospect of this situation changing any time soon. But with Canberra growing by around 8,000 people a year, we cannot allow local services and infrastructure to fall behind as our community continues to grow.
So through the 2019-20 Budget, the ACT Government is stepping up to invest in Canberra.
We are building for the future by delivering our biggest infrastructure program ever – including delivering the new SPIRE Centre at the Canberra Hospital, building two new schools in Gungahlin and getting on with Stage 2 of light rail to Woden.
We are also making a big investment in people – growing early intervention and social services to help tackle the causes of stubborn disadvantage and see Canberra continue becoming even more inclusive.
The investments we are making today in infrastructure, services and better social outcomes will benefit Canberrans for decades to come. So we aren’t going to ask the community to pay for these upfront through higher taxes or more fees and charges.
We will use the ACT’s balance sheet to get on with this important work because it needs to happen now. If we fall behind with building our schools, hospitals and social infrastructure, Canberrans will pay the price as our city continues to grow.
We are building for Canberra’s future and using the ACT Budget to do it because we know a strong community and a liveable city are what matter most.