Andrew Barr is a gamer.
It’s well known that at the end of the world Sim City championships, which are held every 4 years, that the title holder’s main prize is to run a pretend city. If you win the World Sim City Championship you get to take on the role of Treasurer for the ACT.
Lets face it, Canberra is like Sim City.
It must be so much fun to sit there plotting where your next residential or commercial zone will be. Do I build a highway to the neighbouring city or should I construct a monument ? What will the Sims think if I cut back police presence ?
Do I put on an earthquake, or, and here’s an idea, how about I build a train line.
Capital Metro doesn’t crack much of a mention in todays ACT budget.
So much of it is about insulating this town against the cuts from those hardliners in the federal coalition.
So there’s a lot of money being spent on infrastructure. We spent $2 billion on capital works in this city in the last four years. Over the forward estimates four year period, this little Government of ours is going to spend $2.5 billion on an infrastructure program, which includes Capital Metro.
How will we pay for it ?
We’re going to borrow hundreds of million and we’re going sell stuff…lots of stuff.
ACTTAB, some surplus land, Govt offices like Callum Offices and Macarthur House and streetlights. Really ? Streetlights ?
Not sure how you go about selling street lights. I think you do it on ebay.
This city is going be squeezed by the feds. Revenue from a number of direct and indirect sources are going to face a downturn. Barr and Gallagher argue that it’s up to us to create stimulus and there’s nothing more stimulating than constructing a train set.
So the bottom line then. $332 million in the red for 2014/15. $117 million in the red for 2015/16 and a balanced budget in 2016/17.
Andrew Barr conceded in the press conference today that he’s gambling on a much more Canberra friendly federal budget next time around.
I understand the need to stimulate but I don’t know that I’d be borrowing so much at this time, but I can see why he’s so good at Sim City.
What do you think ?