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.
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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 ?