ACT Chief Minister and Treasurer Andrew Barr has this afternoon handed down a big spending 2017-18 Budget containing few surprises and confirming his predictions of a return to surplus in 2018-19.
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Projected deficit of $83.4 million with an expected return to surplus of $9.7 million in 2018-19
Net debt up from $2001.1 million to an estimated $2746.9 million
A $400 million improvement overall since the peak of the Mr Fluffy crisis in 2014, according to the Treasurer
Retention of AAA credit rating from Standard & Poor’s
THE BIG TICKET COMMITMENTS*
$443 million in new health investment including $236 million for the development of a new Surgical Procedures, Interventional Radiology and Emergency Centre and $70 million to expand the Centenary Hospital for Women and Children
$210 million in new education spending including $100 million for infrastructure upgrades to local schools
$26.2 million to increase the capacity of schools in Gungahlin
$23.8 million spending in mental health including funds to establish a new Office for Mental Health
$49.9 million for the demolition of Gowrie Court in Narrabundah, subsequent relocation of public tenants and the related replacement of public housing stock.
$80 million to improve the city centre and surrounds, revitalise town centres and improve the quality of the city’s built environment including $59 million over four years to enable the City Renewal Authority to implement developments in the CBD, Dickson, along Northbourne Avenue and in West Basin and $20 million for planning and development of the City Hill and Lakeside precincts.
$30 million in city services including improved waste management and sportsground works.
$53.5 million for the second stage of light rail between the city and Woden, including the development of a business case, design analysis and procurement activities.
$54 million in road upgrades including $35 million for stage two of the Gundaroo Drive duplication
$20 million to boost the economy and create jobs, including $3 million to support the tertiary education sector and attract more students to Canberra and $11.6 million for tourism and events
$57.1 million for the largest renewal of public housing in ACT history, replacing 1288 units with new homes
$43.8 million for child and youth protection initiatives
$16.3 million over four years to upgrade and expand arts facilities in the Territory
$12 million in infrastructure and reforms to encourage active travel
$11 million in emergency services spending including $7.3 million for more frontline firefighters
$5.3 million for police equipment including tasers
$4.8 million for six extra police to patrol the Territory’s nightlife precincts
$1.4 million over four years for the Office of LGBTIQ Affairs
$1.4 million to help refugees and asylum seekers improve their English language skills.
* Many of these were either announced prior to Budget day or are confirming funding for promises made in the lead-up to the ACT election.
SPENDING BY CATEGORY
$1.6 billion spending on health
$1.2 billion spending on education
$1.1 billion spending on justice and safety and disability, community services and housing
$731 million spending on city services, public transport and government service delivery
$340 million to city improvement programs overseen by the Planning and Regulation and Environment, Sustainability and Land Management directorates
$314 million on events, tourism and investment and economic and financial stewardship
41 per cent from Commonwealth grants including GST
33 per cent from taxation revenue including rates (27% or $487 million), payroll tax (27% or $470 million), general duties (18% or $299 million) and other (28% or $495 million).
16 per cent from other revenue
10 per cent from sales of goods and services