The ACT Government will unveil a $5 billion pipeline of infrastructure projects in today’s budget to drive the Territory’s post-pandemic economic recovery.
The government says that with 250 projects and 14 ongoing programs of work already underway, the largest infrastructure program in the history of the ACT public sector will support more than 15,300 construction jobs and create even more across the Territory for years to come.
Chief Minister and Treasurer Andrew Barr said the government would be going full throttle to support the strongest possible economic recovery.
“We will be pumping hundreds of millions of dollars into the ACT economy over the coming years to support create and protect thousands of good, secure local jobs in the public sector, the private sector and the community sector,” he said.
“Interest rates are the lowest since Federation, providing a once in a century opportunity for the government to build sustainable, productivity-improving and growth-enabling infrastructure to prepare our city for the future.”
A total of $1.4 billion will be ploughed into the ACT’s transport system, including the first light rail stop for stage two of light rail to Woden, design and construction of the Sulwood Drive shared path and the duplication of William Hovell Drive, as well as upgrades to roads and paths and improvements to active travel routes across Canberra.
A total of $950 million of funding will be invested in CIT and education infrastructure over the next five years, including an expansion of Margaret Hendry School and a new high school in Taylor.
It also includes nine new modular learning centres, design works for a new primary school at Strathnairn and a modernised Narrabundah College, road infrastructure for East Gungahlin High School and funding to prepare to modernise Garran Primary School.
A Cancer Research Centre at the Canberra Hospital, infrastructure upgrades at Calvary Public Hospital, planning for a new car park at the Canberra Hospital and planning and design for a future hospital in Canberra’s north are part of an $877 million spend on health and wellbeing over five years.
There is $2.8 million over two years to begin design and consultation to transform the Acton Waterfront where a section of Lake Burley Griffin has been reclaimed to create a new boardwalk and park.
In Gungahlin, a new community recreation park is planned for Casey and $3 million over four years has been allocated for detailed design and construction, while there is also $600,000 for improved and new amenities for Yerrabi Pond District Park.
$9 million will go towards the Throsby Home of Football, and $300,000 over two years for a feasibility and design study to determine a delivery approach for community facilities in Gungahlin.
Local shopping centres will benefit from a total of $18.7 million allocated for upgrades.
There is $1.65 million over three years for detailed design work for the proposed Southern Memorial Park crematorium and cemetery to service the southside.
$15 million over three years will deliver a purpose-built facility for Gugan Gulwan Youth Aboriginal Corporation at its current Wanniassa location to ensure it can continue to deliver services for children, young people and families.
The ACT’s emergency services will receive more than $12 million for upgrades to facilities, including refurbishments for the Gungahlin Joint Emergency Services Centre.
A new state-of-the-art fire-fighting tanker has been purchased for $550,000 and fitted out with appropriate safety equipment in preparation for the 2020-21 bushfire season.
There is also $8.5 million to upgrade and improve major venues that host major sporting and other events in Canberra.
This includes consultation and planning works for a staged expansion of Exhibition Park in Canberra, a new video replay board and upgrades to Canberra Stadium and a new video scoreboard and upgrades to Manuka Oval.
There will also be a feasibility study for a second sealed access road for the National Arboretum and $2.9 million over two years for detailed design work for car park upgrades at Stromlo Forest Park.
Already announced are the big three infrastructure projects – the Canberra Hospital expansion, light rail stage 2A to Commonwealth Park and CIT Woden.