4 June 2013

ACT Budget 2013

| johnboy
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So let’s see how bad things are.

This page will be updated as we go through the furnished material so keep on coming.

And first off the rank is a promise of building and transformation:

The Budget delivers $1.3 billion in health funding, and almost $900 million for education, including new funding for government and non government schools to support the introduction of the National Education Reform Agreement.

There is also more than $28 million in new and ongoing services for the most vulnerable people in our community, including for the roll out of DisabilityCare.

The Budget also progresses and creates capacity for transformational projects including the UC Public Hospital, Capital Metro and City to the Lake – which along with the government’s four year infrastructure spending of $1.270 billion will create thousands of jobs.

The Budget also commences the delivery of our election commitments and the items under the Parliamentary Agreement.

The forecast deficit reduces to $253.6 million in 2013-14 and $99.5 million in 2014-15; before recording surpluses of $29.3 million in 2015-16 and $47.1 million in 2016-17.

We also have a slew of spending on sports facilities:

Sport and recreation plays a vital role in keeping people fit, active and healthy – on average Canberrans are the healthiest and most active people in Australia, which is why this Budget invests $29 million in new and existing programs and facilities.

As well as $3.4 million for new initiatives to improve facilities for community sport and recreation, the Budget includes an existing $14.3 million for maintenance of government-owned sports facilities across

Canberra, and $2.8 million for local sporting organisations, to help them fund operational requirements, infrastructure and development projects, and participation in national leagues.

Sticking with the Treasurer we also have help for homebuyers and economic development.

There’s a reprieve for NICTA, the leaked homebuyers grants, and a bunch of small fry innovation funding.

Andrew also has $11.5 million to help the hotel owners via new tourism funding:

The Gallagher Government is continuing to invest strategically in this important sector in order to boost the number of people coming to Canberra for business and leisure and to encourage visitors to stay longer.

These initiatives will bring the total spend for tourism and events in 2013-14 to $27.3 million.

We’re also promised transformative projects!

The City to Lake and Capital Metro projects are vital to the transformation of Canberra, and the 2013-14 ACT Budget has allocated almost $20 million in funding to continue work on these projects.

The Chief Minister Katy Gallagher, Minister for Economic Development Andrew Barr, and Minister for Environment and Sustainable Development Simon Corbell today said that the ACT Government was committed to undertaking the next steps for these projects.

Moving on to the Chief Minister’s offerings we have promises for health:

The ACT Government will deliver $129 million over four years for growth and new initiatives and $72.3 million in capital funding in the 2013-14 ACT Budget to ensure Canberrans continue to enjoy a world-class health system, Chief Minister and Minister for Health Katy Gallagher said today.

This year’s Budget demonstrates our commitment to continued investment in quality healthcare for Canberrans and to planning for the sustained growth of our health system. In particular, we must cater for our ageing population by expanding and enhancing services to meet rising demand.

Increased investment in health care, both in new initiatives and key health infrastructure, remains one of the Gallagher Government’s top priorities. This is demonstrated by the overall investment in health in this Budget, which is $1.3 billion.

Her Chiefliness also considers education to be key to her plans to transform us:

We are committed to providing high-level leadership for greater collaboration between government, business and the education sector to further capitalise on the significant economic and social benefits that education and training provide to the ACT.

Simon Corbell has a sustainable vision:

The ACT Government will fund the development of key policy frameworks to guide Canberra’s transition to a carbon neutral city with a sustainable transport and affordability focus, the Minister for the Environment and Sustainable Development Simon Corbell said today.

Funding announced today in the 2013-14 ACT Budget delivers a focus on key policy issues to guide actions on sustainable transport, housing affordability, and urban and regional collaboration on the challenge of a changing climate.

A major collaborative effort of this Budget is funding for the Canberra Urban and Regional Futures (CURF) program – an initiative founded by the Australian National University’s Climate Change Institute and the University of Canberra’s Urban and Regional Planning School.

CURF will benefit from $500,000 over two years to focus on a broad range of planning and sustainability issues, undertaking research to inform ACT Government policy.

Joy Burch is celebrating the education dollars:

Recurrent funding for the public education sector, including teaching and school operating costs, rises to $548.5 million, an increase of $22.3 million on 2012-13. Capital funding is significant at $80.1 million for 2013-14, and includes allocations for physical infrastructure and Information Communication Technology.

Further, there is over $19 million in initiatives for non government schooling, taking the ACT Government’s total contribution for the sector to $60.7 million.

The Budget delivers on and progresses election commitments, and provides a foundation for a new era of education funding through the ACT Government’s funding contribution to the landmark National Education Reform Agreement (Gonski reforms). The principle underpinning the reforms is that all students have access to the best possible education regardless of where they live, the income of their family or the school they attend.

Joy and Shane are lumping the less fortunate together for $28 million an unspecified amount of which they were already getting.

Joy also has $3.4 million for the arts, most of it going on Gorman House and the Ainslie Arts Centre.

Simon Corbell has more police and firies for us, and a promise of better roads:

Road safety in Canberra will receive a significant boost with the 2013-14 ACT Budget allocating nearly $5.1 million over four years for police to target bad behaviour by motorists, Minister for Police and Emergency Services Simon Corbell said today.

The Gallagher Government is committed to ensuring our community is safe and secure, with the Budget containing approximately $152 million in 2013-14 for ACT Policing and $123 million for emergency services.

The $5.1 million in funding extends the existing Road Safety Operations Team (RSOT) to enforce drug driving legislation and better enhance delivery of road safety activities in the ACT. It will provide ACT Policing with an additional eight officers and four extra vehicles specially fitted with

RAPID camera technology. The RAPID system uses cameras and optical character recognition software to instantaneously identify if a vehicle registration is identical to one on a ‘vehicle of interest’ list. The ‘vehicle of interest’ list includes an up-to-date listing of unregistered vehicles, stolen vehicles, vehicles owned by suspended or unlicensed drivers, and vehicles associated with persons wanted on warrant.

The More Police Safer Roads initiative will provide the ACT community with a more visible traffic police force, the ability to conduct more Random Roadside Drug Testing and RAPID operations and an increased capacity to combat other traffic offences including, speeding, mobile phone use and not wearing seatbelts.

Shane and Simon have a laundry list of safety things.

    — More work safety inspectors

    — Safe driver licence discount

    — Instalment plans for paying fines

    — More money for the prison to house more inmates

    — legal hub funding

Shane Rattenbury gets a go on services.

    — Biodiversity spends

    — More park rangers

    — Money for urban tree replacement

    — More for recycling facilities

    — Roads!
    — $1.9 million to install more energy efficient lighting in over 60 suburbs throughout Canberra;
    — $760,000 to install energy efficient lamps in traffic lights across Canberra;
    — $1.6 million to complete the forward design of the Ashley Drive upgrade;
    — $1 million to progress local area traffic management projects;
    — $200,000 to design the next stage of Wentworth Avenue pavement upgrade (citybound lanes from Dawes Street to Telopea Park);
    — $250,000 to undertake a road safety audit on all of Canberra Avenue and Yamba Drive and construct high priority works arising from the audits
    — $250,000 for a traffic safety investigation of Maribyrnong Avenue in Kaleen and Sternberg Crescent in Wanniassa;
    — $200,000 for signage and linemarking improvements at primary and secondary schools;
    — $380,000 to improve the safety of Melrose Drive and Eggleston Crescent in Chifley through installation of traffic signals;
    — $520,000 to upgrade road barriers on arterial roads such as Belconnen Way, Ginninderra Drive and Adelaide Avenue;
    — $1.5 million towards a range of bridge strengthening works on locations including Barry Drive, Cotter Road and Streeton Drive;
    — $250,000 to install lighting on the Monaro Highway between Isabella Drive and Mugga Way (Long Gully) in Hume;
    — $600,000 for roadside embankment stabilisation works at sites identified as high risk from falling rocks or soil; and
    — $48,000 for the design of 80 new car parking spaces at Cooleman Court, in two sites at Liardet Street and Dillon Close, which will include parking for people with disabilities and a portion allocated for Park and Ride.

    — Some building upgrades around town

    — Asbestos removal from Red Hill

    — Fencing and protection of the Yarralumla brickworks

    — More money for the RSPCA.

Shane’s got a bit to say about public transport:

    — Fare discounts and off peak periods to try and spread the load

    — Upgrades for bus stops

    — The promise of real time information boards (when all we need is the data to our phones)

Shane finishes up with money for public spaces that he’s mostly already announced, and a whole $40k for mobile phone services.

The Budget Papers are now online.

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— $1 million to progress local area traffic management projects;
— $250,000 for a traffic safety investigation of Maribyrnong Avenue in Kaleen and Sternberg Crescent in Wanniassa;

Translation: more speedbumps. At least the Rattenbury Specials (speedhumps) are cheaper than the Stanhope Memorial Park (Arboretum), at least initially, until we all start spending extra in fuel, tyres, brakes, wheel alignments, suspension bushes, ball joints, tie rod ends, steering rack mounts, shock absorbers and ongoing back pain.

And nobody cared.

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