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My take on the ACT Budget

By Sebastian Fernandez 3 June 2014 52

act-budget

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 ?

What’s Your opinion?


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My take on the ACT Budget
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dungfungus 9:37 am 11 Jun 14

Sebastian Fernandez said :

rommeldog56 said :

Yep – I really don’t think that whining about ACT Gov’t decisions on forums such as this does too much good – isn’t it is just ignored ?

And when u look at the contributors on here, its really mostly the same handful criticising the ACT Gov’t decisions and mismanagement – is there really a large groundswell of opinion against their decisions such as the tram, slanting of “stimulus” infrastructure expenditure towards the North, increasing charges in the last budget and the ongoing probable tripling of Annual Rates ?

Probably better off writing directly to all ACT Labor MLAs to express their concerns.

That’s what I do – as time consuming as it is.

Better be prepared for either no – or insultingly spin based, responses though.

Residents of Canberra / Ratepayers must be just so time challenged – or so apathetic – to put up with the sort of incompetent economic and fiscal madness that the ACT Government is wreaking on this place now. Only people power can change that – the next ballot box will be too late I’m afraid.

Really well said. All Canberrans should read this.

I agree that rommeldog56 has said what is needed to be said but when one reads comments from other people agreeing that it is correct what Alistair Coe said about the proposed light rail being unviable in the CT last week while they also indicated they would never vote for him just confirms that the minority Labor government in the ACT is here to stay forever.
We may all lie down and say “kiss me, as I like some affection when I am being scr#$!d”.

Sebastian Fernandez 8:32 am 11 Jun 14

rommeldog56 said :

Yep – I really don’t think that whining about ACT Gov’t decisions on forums such as this does too much good – isn’t it is just ignored ?

And when u look at the contributors on here, its really mostly the same handful criticising the ACT Gov’t decisions and mismanagement – is there really a large groundswell of opinion against their decisions such as the tram, slanting of “stimulus” infrastructure expenditure towards the North, increasing charges in the last budget and the ongoing probable tripling of Annual Rates ?

Probably better off writing directly to all ACT Labor MLAs to express their concerns.

That’s what I do – as time consuming as it is.

Better be prepared for either no – or insultingly spin based, responses though.

Residents of Canberra / Ratepayers must be just so time challenged – or so apathetic – to put up with the sort of incompetent economic and fiscal madness that the ACT Government is wreaking on this place now. Only people power can change that – the next ballot box will be too late I’m afraid.

Really well said. All Canberrans should read this.

rommeldog56 1:30 pm 10 Jun 14

dungfungus said :

VYBerlinaV8_is_back said :

dungfungus said :

milkman said :

Masquara said :

milkman said :

So why increase density when the idea is to transport residents of Gungahlin? By the time the tram gets to Northbourne during peak hours it should already be full. If not, clearly Gungahlinites aren’t using the service that all of Canberra is paying to provide them.

This just doesn’t add up.

milkman said :

So why increase density when the idea is to transport residents of Gungahlin? By the time the tram gets to Northbourne during peak hours it should already be full. If not, clearly Gungahlinites aren’t using the service that all of Canberra is paying to provide them.

This just doesn’t add up.

It’s not adding up because all this is about is some backroom promise made to Shane Rattenbury. We can thank Shane Rattenbury when the $12,000 bill per family comes in! Thanks in anticipation, Shane! (Notice that he has gone to ground on this issue?)

Spot on. Why won’t our elected representatives answer some of these concerns?

Why don’t you ask one of your Labor MLA’s directly?

What would be the point? The letter will get routed to some ASO6 who will use the proforma to make a pleasant but uninformative reply. The MLA will probably never even see it.

Make a home visit.

Yep, tried that too – 3 times + talking to ACT Labor candidates out front of shopping centres in the lead up to the last ACT election. all you get is lots of concern, sympathy – and robotic/scripted spin in return. Wat else can be done ? The next ACT election is too far away.

dungfungus 9:42 am 10 Jun 14

VYBerlinaV8_is_back said :

dungfungus said :

milkman said :

Masquara said :

milkman said :

So why increase density when the idea is to transport residents of Gungahlin? By the time the tram gets to Northbourne during peak hours it should already be full. If not, clearly Gungahlinites aren’t using the service that all of Canberra is paying to provide them.

This just doesn’t add up.

milkman said :

So why increase density when the idea is to transport residents of Gungahlin? By the time the tram gets to Northbourne during peak hours it should already be full. If not, clearly Gungahlinites aren’t using the service that all of Canberra is paying to provide them.

This just doesn’t add up.

It’s not adding up because all this is about is some backroom promise made to Shane Rattenbury. We can thank Shane Rattenbury when the $12,000 bill per family comes in! Thanks in anticipation, Shane! (Notice that he has gone to ground on this issue?)

Spot on. Why won’t our elected representatives answer some of these concerns?

Why don’t you ask one of your Labor MLA’s directly?

What would be the point? The letter will get routed to some ASO6 who will use the proforma to make a pleasant but uninformative reply. The MLA will probably never even see it.

Make a home visit.

VYBerlinaV8_is_back 8:29 am 10 Jun 14

dungfungus said :

milkman said :

Masquara said :

milkman said :

So why increase density when the idea is to transport residents of Gungahlin? By the time the tram gets to Northbourne during peak hours it should already be full. If not, clearly Gungahlinites aren’t using the service that all of Canberra is paying to provide them.

This just doesn’t add up.

milkman said :

So why increase density when the idea is to transport residents of Gungahlin? By the time the tram gets to Northbourne during peak hours it should already be full. If not, clearly Gungahlinites aren’t using the service that all of Canberra is paying to provide them.

This just doesn’t add up.

It’s not adding up because all this is about is some backroom promise made to Shane Rattenbury. We can thank Shane Rattenbury when the $12,000 bill per family comes in! Thanks in anticipation, Shane! (Notice that he has gone to ground on this issue?)

Spot on. Why won’t our elected representatives answer some of these concerns?

Why don’t you ask one of your Labor MLA’s directly?

What would be the point? The letter will get routed to some ASO6 who will use the proforma to make a pleasant but uninformative reply. The MLA will probably never even see it.

rommeldog56 6:54 am 10 Jun 14

Yep – I really don’t think that whining about ACT Gov’t decisions on forums such as this does too much good – isn’t it is just ignored ? And when u look at the contributors on here, its really mostly the same handful criticising the ACT Gov’t decisions and mismanagement – is there really a large groundswell of opinion against their decisions such as the tram, slanting of “stimulus” infrastructure expenditure towards the North, increasing charges in the last budget and the ongoing probable tripling of Annual Rates ?

Probably better off writing directly to all ACT Labor MLAs to express their concerns. That’s what I do – as time consuming as it is. Better be prepared for either no – or insultingly spin based, responses though.

Residents of Canberra / Ratepayers must be just so time challenged – or so apathetic – to put up with the sort of incompetent economic and fiscal madness that the ACT Government is wreaking on this place now. Only people power can change that – the next ballot box will be too late I’m afraid.

dungfungus 10:33 pm 09 Jun 14

milkman said :

Masquara said :

milkman said :

So why increase density when the idea is to transport residents of Gungahlin? By the time the tram gets to Northbourne during peak hours it should already be full. If not, clearly Gungahlinites aren’t using the service that all of Canberra is paying to provide them.

This just doesn’t add up.

milkman said :

So why increase density when the idea is to transport residents of Gungahlin? By the time the tram gets to Northbourne during peak hours it should already be full. If not, clearly Gungahlinites aren’t using the service that all of Canberra is paying to provide them.

This just doesn’t add up.

It’s not adding up because all this is about is some backroom promise made to Shane Rattenbury. We can thank Shane Rattenbury when the $12,000 bill per family comes in! Thanks in anticipation, Shane! (Notice that he has gone to ground on this issue?)

Spot on. Why won’t our elected representatives answer some of these concerns?

Why don’t you ask one of your Labor MLA’s directly?

milkman 10:11 pm 09 Jun 14

Masquara said :

milkman said :

So why increase density when the idea is to transport residents of Gungahlin? By the time the tram gets to Northbourne during peak hours it should already be full. If not, clearly Gungahlinites aren’t using the service that all of Canberra is paying to provide them.

This just doesn’t add up.

milkman said :

So why increase density when the idea is to transport residents of Gungahlin? By the time the tram gets to Northbourne during peak hours it should already be full. If not, clearly Gungahlinites aren’t using the service that all of Canberra is paying to provide them.

This just doesn’t add up.

It’s not adding up because all this is about is some backroom promise made to Shane Rattenbury. We can thank Shane Rattenbury when the $12,000 bill per family comes in! Thanks in anticipation, Shane! (Notice that he has gone to ground on this issue?)

Spot on. Why won’t our elected representatives answer some of these concerns?

Masquara 9:15 pm 09 Jun 14

milkman said :

So why increase density when the idea is to transport residents of Gungahlin? By the time the tram gets to Northbourne during peak hours it should already be full. If not, clearly Gungahlinites aren’t using the service that all of Canberra is paying to provide them.

This just doesn’t add up.

milkman said :

So why increase density when the idea is to transport residents of Gungahlin? By the time the tram gets to Northbourne during peak hours it should already be full. If not, clearly Gungahlinites aren’t using the service that all of Canberra is paying to provide them.

This just doesn’t add up.

It’s not adding up because all this is about is some backroom promise made to Shane Rattenbury. We can thank Shane Rattenbury when the $12,000 bill per family comes in! Thanks in anticipation, Shane! (Notice that he has gone to ground on this issue?)

milkman 7:52 pm 09 Jun 14

So why increase density when the idea is to transport residents of Gungahlin? By the time the tram gets to Northbourne during peak hours it should already be full. If not, clearly Gungahlinites aren’t using the service that all of Canberra is paying to provide them.

This just doesn’t add up.

HiddenDragon 5:37 pm 09 Jun 14

Grail said :

dungfungus said :

Re the government’s plan to densify the Northbourne Avenue strip with high rise apartments and office blocks to enhance utilisation of the light rail.
Are special conditions going to be applied regarding vehicle parking when approving these developments such as no parking spaces at all to force residents and workers to use the light rail?

There are requirements for at least 1 car space per apartment. I’m not sure of the number but it’s probably 1.2 spaces per apartment to allow for visitor parking. Those requirements are already there, it’s just rezoning and development approval that has to happen now. The idea is that people will buy apartments on Northbourne because they are close to the tram, which means an easy commute into the city.

Of course what is more likely to happen is people who work in Woden buying in Northbourne because it’s close to the night life they want to be involved in, and commuting by car because catching the tram to Civic and then bus to Woden is too much hassle.

Your final point (and the same could be said of people who work in Tuggeranong, and other places highly unlikely to get tram services) is well made, and illustrates the practical limitations on any benefits from the Northbourne Avenue and other such densification strategies. The benefits suggested by the hype depend upon people’s day to day lives being lived in a very tight radius – highly unlikely unless the Commonwealth concentrates all of its activities in the Parliamentary Triangle.

It’s also difficult to see how the tramline and a Northbourne Avenue densification strategy will contribute in a worthwhile (i.e. truly justifying the very large costs) way to an economically sustainable diversification of the ACT economy – particularly regarding private sector services exports (which has been talked-up, of late).

dungfungus 10:03 am 09 Jun 14

Grail said :

dungfungus said :

Re the government’s plan to densify the Northbourne Avenue strip with high rise apartments and office blocks to enhance utilisation of the light rail.
Are special conditions going to be applied regarding vehicle parking when approving these developments such as no parking spaces at all to force residents and workers to use the light rail?

There are requirements for at least 1 car space per apartment. I’m not sure of the number but it’s probably 1.2 spaces per apartment to allow for visitor parking. Those requirements are already there, it’s just rezoning and development approval that has to happen now. The idea is that people will buy apartments on Northbourne because they are close to the tram, which means an easy commute into the city.

Of course what is more likely to happen is people who work in Woden buying in Northbourne because it’s close to the night life they want to be involved in, and commuting by car because catching the tram to Civic and then bus to Woden is too much hassle.

Corbell will need his failed “super call-in power bill” to be passed before “tram-centric” zoning laws can be passed.

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