This Budget is about building and transforming Canberra for a prosperous and sustainable second century.
The reforms and funding outlined in this Budget demonstrate the Government's commitment to implementing its plan to build and transform our economy and create opportunity and fairness for all Canberrans.This plan will deliver important reforms to ensure Canberra remains a great place in which to live, work, study and do business, and to ensure we grow and prosper in the long term.
The Government is taking the action necessary in the short term to restructure our Budget while continuing to deliver quality services. It sets the Territory on the path for growth by ensuring our fiscal position is sustainable and by funding transformative programs – notably DisabilityCare Australia and the National Education Reform Agreement (Gonski) – and new infrastructure such as the University of Canberra Public Hospital, Capital Metro and the City to the Lake project. Together these programs and infrastructure projects will generate thousands of new jobs in Canberra.
The Government continues to put the welfare of Canberrans first. This Budget will help us become healthier and smarter, improve our city's liveability, grow our economy and employment, and renew the urban environment.
Funding is increased for health, education, emergency and municipal services, public transport, corrections and for those in need. This funding builds on the significant Government support provided to Canberrans through concessions and other targeted assistance measures.And this Budget – the first of this four-year parliamentary term – commences the delivery of our election commitments and items in the Parliamentary Agreement.
Though in deficit, the Budget is forecast to return to balance in 2015-16.The Government recognises that in the current constrained economic climate, balancing the budget will take concerted action. This Budget continues work on restructuring our expenditure and revenue bases to make them more sustainable.
Improvements are made to service planning, processes and procedures to improve efficiency and effectiveness. Sensible and targeted savings are made across government to support priority services and cost pressures.
Returning the Budget to balance will ensure we can fund the projects that will transform Canberra, and continue providing quality services for the Territory's growing population.
The Budget continues the Government's taxation reforms, which are making taxes fairer, simpler and more efficient. The Budget also supports growth in the private sector and new investment.
In our centenary year, this Budget positions the Territory to meet the financial and social challenges of the future, while caring for our community and creating opportunity today.
Andrew Barr, MLA