11 February 2020

Barr's election pitch: Now is not the time to go backwards

| Ian Bushnell
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Chief Minister Andrew Barr

Chief Minister Andrew Barr: a big infrastructure program, including light rail Stage 2A and the Canberra Hospital expansion, will be integral to the government’s re-election strategy. Photo: File.

Chief Minister Andrew Barr will launch his government’s re-election bid this afternoon with a blatantly political speech to the Legislative Assembly outlining its priorities for 2020.

The key priority will be to win Labor a sixth term in October and Mr Barr will tell voters, through the Assembly, that 2020 is the year they will be asked to “make a choice about our city’s direction for the first half of the decade”.

“Now is not the time to send our city backwards,” Mr Barr will say.

“Our growing city needs new and better public infrastructure. Our community expects world-class public services and they need good secure jobs in the future. And this government is committed to delivering just that.”

Mr Barr will set out the government’s agenda for 2020 across 14 policy areas, saying that while the ACT will suffer economic aftershocks from the recent fires and smoke, the economy remains as strong as it has ever been.

“Today, we account for the largest share of the national economy in our history,” he will say.

“The ACT economy is now worth almost $42 billion – larger than both Tasmania and the Northern Territory – and is one of the fastest-growing economies in the nation. Over the past four years, 3,200 new business have established and 19,600 new jobs have been created.”

Mr Barr’s speech will stress an infrastructure spend across key areas of health, education and transport, including the $500 million Canberra Hospital SPIRE project, new schools and light rail Stage 2A to Commonwealth Park, with contracts being signed and work commencing this year.

In a clear pitch to families struggling with the cost of childcare, Mr Barr will announce that Education Minister Yvette Berry will later this year release the government’s Early Childhood Strategy to “ensure every child in the ACT has the best start in life through equitable access to high-quality early childhood education and care”.

“This important document will also outline the first, targeted phase of our commitment to provide free pre-school to three-year-olds in the ACT,” Mr Barr will say.

Mr Barr will also announce that Emergency Services and Environment and Heritage Minister Mick Gentleman will oversee the government’s bushfire recovery and resilience efforts, including the regeneration of Namadgi National Park, return of wildlife, and repairs to government infrastructure and assets.

Mr Barr will also take the opportunity to announce the full detail of the government’s new wellbeing framework which, from this year on, will be reported against as part of the annual Budget process.

The government has been developing a set of wellbeing indicators to help guide government decision-making and priorities for the future.

“These indicators will help us measure how Canberra is performing based on what Canberrans believe is necessary to live a quality life,” according to Mr Barr.

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rationalobserver10:17 am 13 Feb 20

Forward is a euphemism for progressive, and its progressive left leaning ideology which has brought us to where we are today. And its a smoke screen. ACT is rushing towards renewables when construction companies are refusing to take on wind and solar projects because of unacceptable risks. We are recycling only to have it being stockpiled at Hume with no economical way of dealing with it. Bikie crime going through the roof because we care more about hurt feelings that law enforcement. Talk about a bubble.

What would it take for Barr not to be re-elected?

Caught renovating his home with tax payer funds.

Not going to happen.

rationalobserver10:12 am 13 Feb 20

Common sense to prevail.

Don’t vote Labor or Greens. Simple!!

A majority who accept Coe’s “better service lower cost” at face value, instead of recognising that in reality it is one or the other.

This discussion is all elementary. Even if Andrew Barr was photographed kissing a woman he would still be elected. Really, I wonder why we are even having an election at all.

Capital Retro11:25 am 13 Feb 20

If he did that he would get even more votes.

I wold like Mr Bar to go over the reasons again why we don’t have the same anti bike laws as other states have, and thus having quite a number of them now residing here.
Was it something about your rights to have gun fire in your
street ( as you have reported happened in Gordon ) .. if you should wish .
I would like it all explained again.

We must move forward, not backward; upward, not downward; and always twirling, twirling, twirling towards freedom!

HiddenDragon8:38 pm 11 Feb 20

Backwards to – affordable housing (that didn’t start falling apart within a few years), rents, rates, utility bills, car rego fees, a decent bus network, hospitals that could cope, public schools not on the slide, etc. etc. – would be really, really terrible.

You seriously think the Libs could do that? Simple answer is nope b

Problem is that too many parts of Canberra have gone backwards under Mr Barr’s watch.

Yes Canberra has improved on the whole over the last 20 years, but some areas/suburbs have seen schools close, shops disappear, facilities age, medical services decline, community services cease, public transport change for the worse and even their formal and peer reviewed socio economic status decline.

The areas of Canberra that Mr Barr and ACT Labor actively made better, came at the cost of the areas and suburbs that they selectively ignored or directly impacted.

There are two sides to a balance sheet. It does thinking Canberra voters and residents a disservice by only focusing on the one side.

Will he grow a spine and stop letting Rattenbury run the ACT?

ChrisinTurner6:16 pm 11 Feb 20

If he is letting Rattenbury run the ACT why are we losing thousands of trees every year. The Greens support more trees, Labor is obviously against trees.

The tram was the cause of a huge portion of that. Who pushed hardest for the train set?

Typical of the greens to say one thing and do another though. Thanks for providing an example.

Is that so? Here I was thinking this was a city wide issue, but as you’ve shown, its actually concentrated to just one cooridor and entirely attributable to the light rail.

Cant even keep a straight face lol

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