In June 2014, this years ACT budget was projected to be m$333 in the red without the impact of Mr Fluffy – which could be as high as m$500 over 3 years, according to the ACT Treasurer, Andrew Barr :
On top of the cutbacks in the Federal Public service and associated downturn in other economic activity in the ACT, its hardly a rosy outlook in the short-medium term, I would think.
Added to that outlook is the Light rail – under the guise of a Public, Private Partnership (PPP). Admittedly, it is thought that payments to the PPP partner will not commence till about 2019 when it is supposed to become operational but the ACT Govt will need to spend many millions of $ on associated infrastructure facilitation before then. Then there is the matter of competing budget priorities such as Health, Education, Road maintenance, keeping the Territory ship shape & neat and tidy, paying for more Ministers and MLAs, more PPPs such as for the proposed new building in Civic to house ACT Govt Public Servants and the new ACT Court building, etc.
The proposed new convention centre has already been postponed – despite the fact that the current convention centre has apparently turned away over 80 bookings which will generate revenue for the Territory. What else will need to be canned or re prioritised ?
Just how much longer can this apparently teflon coated ACT Government avoid the inevitable – to be held accountable for their economic & fiscal decision making and expenditure priorities.
I know I will be called “negative” in this forum – but just look at the fiscal facts. Is it any wonder Katy Gallagher is pushing for the GST to be increased – at least she will get some more revenue to pay for her expenditure priorities and stimulus program.
In the mean time, my view is that residents and ratepayers in Canberra had better hold on tight to their wallets !