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

Ian Bushnell 11 February 2020 69
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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69 Responses to Barr’s election pitch: Now is not the time to go backwards
Sue Sutton Sue Sutton 9:18 pm 13 Feb 20

Well he is a politician, that is what they do

Yuri Shukost Yuri Shukost 2:37 pm 13 Feb 20

Just remember, Barr, it's the older citizens you disparaged that might decide your future at the polling booth. I hope they remember.

Gabriel Spacca Gabriel Spacca 12:54 am 13 Feb 20

It’s been harder and harder to cast a vote at successive elections. At both Federal and State/Territory level the last few elections have been a choice of Tweedle-Dee, Tweedle-Dum and Tweedle-Dummer.

For the first time since I first became eligible to vote I’m seriously thinking of not casting a vote. And I hate that Australian politics has come to this.

Roger Mungummary Roger Mungummary 12:24 am 12 Feb 20

Does backwards mean building more social housing and a lot less of the massive red elephants?

Charlie Karmenu Flask Charlie Karmenu Flask 11:08 pm 11 Feb 20

Now is not the time to send our city backwards!!!! That because there's nowhere further back to go?

City?? How about the whole territory??

Peter Thornton Peter Thornton 10:52 pm 11 Feb 20

"Forward, not backward; upward, not forward; and always twirling, twirling, twirling towards freedom!"

Ben Jones Ben Jones 8:10 pm 11 Feb 20

Let’s move forward ... and again increase your rates !

Rob Chalmers Rob Chalmers 7:59 pm 11 Feb 20

Hospital wait times are dismal. Bus timetables wrecked to feed the light rail which is now stalled. Rates through the roof yet they are favourites to be re-elected. Democracy Canberra style.

    Stephen Matthews Stephen Matthews 8:33 pm 11 Feb 20

    No what it means is that the other side is rubbish

    Chris Emery Chris Emery 3:13 pm 13 Feb 20

    Waiting times to see a specialist for first appointment are so bad they are not revealed.

    Ashley Wright Ashley Wright 5:54 pm 13 Feb 20

    Chris Emery they are not revealed as it has nothing to do with ACT government, same with GP services.

    Only thing the government can do is create an environment where specialists want to come here and setup shop and/or offer incentives. But certain the specialists here wouldn’t like that too much.

    Rob Chalmers Rob Chalmers 6:04 pm 13 Feb 20

    Yes the dramas with VMO's

Karl Varnsen Karl Varnsen 7:46 pm 11 Feb 20

Well done Mr Barr and ACT Government for handling the bush fire crisis so professionally and diligently. The liberal flogs will never get my vote and those same incompetent libs in charge federally could learn a thing or two from you on how you handle a crisis!

Mac John Mac John 7:38 pm 11 Feb 20

The liberals ( feds) voted against an ICAC style integrity commission, the president of the Canberra Liberals in implicated one the Angus Taylor forged document as it has been reported he provided it to a media outlet: there is the awarding of grants for political bribes. Also the libs are deniers of climate change with the federal libs failing to show leadership in the bushfire emergency. Where do I stop. Yes there are things the Barr Govt could have done better

, the Greens also have a record where they brought a seat in cabinet at the sacrifice of independence. Well I prefer Labor than having anything to do with the Libs.

    Jim Hosie Jim Hosie 2:06 pm 12 Feb 20

    Mac John dude become a swinging voter seriously - you don’t think this mob are cut of the same cloth?

Stuart James Stuart James 7:23 pm 11 Feb 20

Land prices through the roof.

Killing builders and associated trades.

Fixed price of what we can put our rent up on investment properties.

Rates, land tax going up.

Im sure though he and his mates have lined their own pockets through the big developers..

Lee McDowall Lee McDowall 6:50 pm 11 Feb 20

Hopefully ACT voters will see the light and vote this incompeted and the incompeted Greens out. It's time for a big change. Although it is really hard to know who to vote for with the ACT pollies we have😢😭😭😭😭😭

David Brown David Brown 5:11 pm 11 Feb 20

I agree. We need to move forward and get rid of Barr and his cronies.

    Brydie Kelly Brydie Kelly 8:13 pm 11 Feb 20

    David Brown and replace with who? Unfortunately the alternative is worse 😔

    David Brown David Brown 8:18 pm 11 Feb 20

    Brydie Kelly That is a belief. The facts remain unknown. I think Barr and his cronies are taking us for granted and they need to be given a shake.

Wayne Warton Wayne Warton 4:45 pm 11 Feb 20

The rates rip-off has to end

Chris Cross Chris Cross 3:14 pm 11 Feb 20

Why in the world would you give the reins to Coe, who's probably the most conservative Liberal member in the nation? The ACT economy over the last 20 years has been growing steadily and consistently. No massive bubbles, no 'corrections'... just nice and steady. We've got a great town and a great future, because of progressive thinking and looking into the future. One of the lowest electricity prices in Australia because we weren't scared of renewable energy. You reckon Coe would've done that? Or implement mass transit now, instead of too late like every other state did? Labor's not perfect, but it's a hell of a lot better than the alternative!!!!

    Fiona Dickson Fiona Dickson 8:14 pm 11 Feb 20

    Chris Cross most of the big achievements not Labor initiatives. Most the questionable ones - the unintelligent urban planning and building crap boom you can thank Labor for. Economic progress doesn’t need to come at the expense of intelligent design - but that’s what we have from Labor. In tight with developers, doing a long term disservice to this city and future generations. Too lazy and incompetent to make sure we can have the best of urban intensification. Labor provides mediocrity, only marginally better than the Libs.

John Sant John Sant 2:20 pm 11 Feb 20

Yvette Berry does not support whistle blowers

Charlie Sgroi Charlie Sgroi 1:40 pm 11 Feb 20

Want to fix the hospital

And stop union money

Easy....change government...

Raffy Sgroi Raffy Sgroi 1:37 pm 11 Feb 20

“Our community expects world-class public services and they need good secure jobs in the future”... ??!

    Margaret Freemantle Margaret Freemantle 2:06 pm 11 Feb 20

    Raffy Sgroi talk to the LNP re public services!!

    Raffy Sgroi Raffy Sgroi 3:04 pm 11 Feb 20

    its the “world class” that I don’t understand! Canberra yes need public services but definitely not more executives

    Vander Leal Vander Leal 1:40 am 12 Feb 20

    I would like to see a list of public services started by his government.

Zakzook Chico Zakzook Chico 1:27 pm 11 Feb 20

Election promises! You had 20 years to sort out our hospital

Zahidul Alam Zahidul Alam 1:09 pm 11 Feb 20

He will be elected again

    Mark Chapman Mark Chapman 12:12 am 12 Feb 20

    The Canberra Liberals are ensuring that specifically by retaining Alistair Coe as leader, and being to the Right of Genghis Khan in general.

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