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Budget announcements pouring forth

By johnboy 3 May 2011 22

Budget11

The Budget Papers are now available

Here are the highlights from the Treasurer’s speech:

Overview:

Targeted, recurrent expenditure with a net impact of $266.5 million over four years is made in this Budget for sensible and needed investments in healthcare, schools, community safety, and municipal and community services…

The Budget returns to surplus in 2013-14 as forecast last year and two years ahead of the original recovery plan…

In 2011-12, we are estimating expenditure of around $825 million on new works and works in progress…


Economic Outlook:

There are no new taxes in this Budget. In fact, tax subsidies are provided to support transition through microeconomic reform…

Employment is forecast to grow by 2½ per cent in 2010-11. We have the second lowest unemployment rate in the country at 3.2 per cent, and the second highest labour force participation rate at over 73 per cent. Employment growth in 2011-12 is forecast to moderate to ¾ per cent consistent with the moderation in overall economic growth…


Fiscal Outlook and Budget Objectives:

An Efficiency Dividend commenced in 2010-11 and continues in this Budget. Applied only to non-frontline services, the Dividend delivers $66.6 million in savings over four years.

The Budget incorporates further savings initiatives to reduce administrative costs by $150.7 million over four years.

Agencies are being asked to reduce expenditure in areas such as travel and accommodation, stationery, consultants and contractors, recruitment and training, electricity and fleet leasing…

The initiatives in this Budget increase the size of the public service by around 320 full time
equivalent staff, with many for frontline services.

However, the Government intends to limit the growth in the public service overall, and will be seeking staffing reductions in the order of 210 full time equivalent staff.

These will be managed through normal staff turnover and targeted redundancies, through voluntary processes.

Mr Speaker, there will be no involuntary redundancies…

Mr Speaker, this Budget provides for $928.5 million in capital initiatives, including plant and equipment and Information and Communications Technology.

General Government borrowings will increase to $650 million. These borrowings will fund the capital investment in the health system and the upgrade to Majura Parkway…


Restructured Public Service – The ACT Public Service Review:

A new Government Office Block will bring together ACT public servants and increase integration of services and effort. Work will commence on the Office Block in 2013-14, with funding of $124.9 million commencing over the last two years in this Budget. The total investment in the Office Block will be around $432 million, offset by $114 million in asset sales. This is a large project, a significant civic building with a strong commitment from this government to prepare our city for the future…

The Budget also invests $150,000 for a study into the cost and design of a new office block in Gungahlin for ACT public servants…

This Budget allocates around $35 million to technology projects that will ensure our high service standards are maintained…


Economic Development and the Art:

A Centenary Marketing Fund of $1.8 million over three years, for a national Canberra marketing campaign, will further promote our city as the nation’s capital.

Community members and groups can now access funding to assist in the delivery of Centenary events, with just over $1 million provided for this purpose.

A Centenary Trail will be constructed for walkers and cyclists featuring the ACT’s iconic sites and notable landmarks through funding of $3.3 million.

The Street Theatre will be extended, with $3.2 million allocated to create a performing arts hub in City West.

The National Arboretum, soon to become an iconic Canberra landmark, receives additional Commonwealth funding of $20 million over four years as a gift to the National Capital for the Centennial year.

Based on the success of “Masterpieces from Paris” an annual “blockbuster” fund of $2 million over two years will assist Canberra’s major cultural institutions acquire large scale exhibitions…


Sport and Recreation:

The Budget provides $4.3 million over four years to host seven games in the 2015 Asian Cup, as well as $2.2 million to the Canberra Stadium for the design of improvements to facilities.

$26.3 million is allocated for a 50 metre swimming pool complex at Gungahlin, $2.8 million for future planning and design at Stromlo Forest Park, $2 million for redeveloping Kippax playing fields and $1.1 million for the restoration of Isabella Plains and Charnwood sports grounds. This sees continued investment in local community sport and recreation facilities.

A multi use indoor sporting facility will be constructed at Greenway for community use, with funding of $2.1 million provided. This facility will also house a Men’s Shed…


Housing Affordability:

In 2011-12 the Government will release 5,500 dwelling sites on 2011-12, and a total of 18,500 over the next four years. As a result of the accelerated residential land release program, housing supply has significantly increased.

Additional funding of $1.6 million over four years will establish an inventory of release ready land to deliver affordable housing in green field areas…

Further land is being released in Ngunnawal for aged care, a pressing area of housing need, with funding of $2.4 million allocated…

Significant funding of $44.5 million over two years is provided to support necessary infrastructure including water and stormwater for initial land releases in Stage Two of Molonglo. John Gorton Drive is being extended to improve access to the new suburbs. Horse Park Drive is also being extended to improve access to new suburbs in North Gungahlin with funding of $24.2 million.

A further $20 million loan is provided to Community Housing Canberra for 90 properties for affordable rental in Crace, Bonner and Bruce. This loan builds on the $50 million already provided to the company for affordable housing and will help deliver 1,000 affordable housing properties for rental and sale by 2018.

A $23 million loan and a $6 million grant over nine years is also made to the University of Canberra for the purchase and refurbishment of Wing 5 of Cameron Offices in Belconnen for 212 student accommodation places.

Social housing is being expanded with funding of $9.5 million for an additional 32 dwellings to address housing affordability. In particular an intentional community will be developed at Phillip to house people with a disability who need family and other support nearby…

Narrabundah Long Stay Caravan Park is being upgraded, financial assistance provided to eligible residents, and 25 new mobile homes being constructed with $7.7 million allocated.

People who are homeless will also be further assisted to re-engage with support services in order to obtain and sustain a successful tenancy, through funding of $508,000.

Support will also be provided for a Common Ground feasibility study – an internationally recognised supportive housing model…


Health Care:

$41 million to progress the next stage of planning and design for new infrastructure such as a new tower block at the Canberra Hospital which will be designed to accommodate the majority of all inpatient activity at the hospital in the future…

$4 million for preliminary work on the future expansion of hospital services for the North side of Canberra. The Government will be building a new hospital on the North side of Canberra and this funding will be used to explore location options as well as undertake detailed project scoping and documentation, and explore financing options…

Funding of $15.1 million will enable the inclusion of further enhancements, and additional treatment spaces to the ACT’s new Integrated Cancer Centre, construction of which will begin shortly…

Around $17.4 million in recurrent funding is allocated to increase the capacity of ACT hospitals by providing for the equivalent of 20 additional acute care beds, and will establish a new service for people suffering from neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s Disease…

A further $8.3 million over four years is provided to increase the Canberra Hospital’s Intensive Care Unit by two beds and ten nurses and expanding its outreach services.

Access to surgery will be increased with an additional $10.4 million over four years to provide both increased access to elective and emergency surgery, bringing our annual target to 11,000 operations per year, and enhance paediatric ophthalmology and plastic surgery services.

This Budget also provides $7.7 million over four years for growth in obstetrics, gynaecology and other specialised birthing services for women and children, which will be delivered at the new Women and Children’s Hospital.

The Capital Region Cancer Service is provided with funding of $4.2 million over four years to meet increased demand for services and $6.7 million over four years is provided for the commissioning of a fourth linear accelerator in the Radiation Oncology Department…

Increased funding of $19.8 million over four years for mental health includes $13.8 million for the new Adult Mental Health Inpatient Facility.

Other funding targets early intervention, prevention, and training for teachers, police and ambulance workers in addressing mental health issues, better equipping them to recognise and appropriately refer those needing support to overcome mental illness.

This Budget provides additional support for rehabilitation, aged and community care with funding of $4.2 million over four years to support the therapy programs delivered at the Village Creek Centre…


Education and Training:

An additional $20 million over four years is provided for educational programs for students with disabilities to give them similar opportunities to others.

This Budget allocates around $147 million to build new schools and to improve existing facilities.

A new early childhood school will be constructed at Franklin, along with a new primary school at Bonner. Majura and Macgregor Primary Schools are being expanded, with other school facilities upgraded. Further work is being undertaken at Namadgi P-10 School, Gungahlin College andHarrison Secondary School.

A new pedestrian bridge will provide safe access for students crossing Drakeford Drive to attend the new Namadgi P-10 School at Kambah.

Funding of $1.6 million over four years is provided to increase accountability for primary school business managers.

Secondary schools will see funding of $800,000 provided to implement improved approaches to learning and teaching and new pathways for students. Student engagement often declines in these years.

Funding of almost $15 million is provided for school building and facility improvements, along with $6.2 million to upgrade preschools to meet national quality standards…

$1.8 million is also being provided in this Budget to replace the Vocational Education Management System.

The CIT receives $1.2 million to support its expanded footprint of buildings and the increased complexity of its Information Technology systems. Forward Design for a CIT Learning Centre in Tuggeranong is also funded with $700,000…


Municipal Services:

funding of $4.3 million is allocated for the completion of Bunda Street from East Row to Northbourne Avenue and improvements to Veterans Park, Petrie Plaza, City Walk and Civic Merry-go-round.

An additional $7.5 million is allocated to looking after our urban trees and to assist the natural regeneration of Box-Gum woodlands. Canberra boasts the largest urban forest managed by a single jurisdiction in Australia, with over 700,000 trees.

Managing and reducing our waste remains a key challenge. Around $8.4 million in this Budget is directed to problem and stockpiled building waste at West Belconnen Resource Management Centre and to the upgrade of land fill cells to meet environmental standards. A feasibility study into acquiring a new landfill site is also being conducted with $2.8 million allocated…


Transport:

Funding of $21.4 million over four years is invested in making ACTION buses more accessible and effective. Services to Gungahlin and the Inner North, Fyshwick, Kippax and the Canberra Hospital are being improved. A dedicated mini bus will increase transport options for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community…

Capital funding of around $20 million is provided for public transport infrastructure, including $3.7 million to upgrade the Woden bus depot, $2.5 million for the forward design of the Northbourne Avenue Transitway, $4.4 million for fuel depots and $1 million for bus stop upgrades. The ACTION radio system is being replaced with $4.5 million in funding being provided…

A primary point of contact for the taxi industry and other stakeholders will be established through funding of $776,000 over four years. Service standards to improve taxi performance will be developed, as well as fare levels and compliance monitored.

Canberra’s walking and cycling infrastructure continues to be enhanced with $1.5 million provided for construction of new cycle ways and shared paths.

Road safety is a paramount concern and the key driver in the Government’s continued investment in maintaining and upgrading roads. The Budget provides $144 million over three years for the Majura Parkway and $5.5 million for intersections in North Weston and West Belconnen.

Funding of $3.3 million over four years is also provided for the enhancement of the Road Transport Authorities’ Computer System…


Community Services:

A specialist, ten place, after school care program and ten place, full time holiday support program for young people with complex behaviours associated with autism and other developmental delays is being established at a cost of $1.7 million over four years.

Existing programs that support school leavers with disabilities are also being expanded, with an additional 15 places available each year, for two years, with funding of $2.8 million over four years provided.

This Budget makes provision to ensure specialist transport services are more affordable and accessable for people with disabilities. The number of taxi vouchers and the subsidies per trip for people with disabilities are increased, with over $2.3 million allocated over four years.

A centralised wheelchair accessible taxi booking service will be introduced and incentives will be implemented for improved services for people with disabilities with $2.2 million in funding over four years.

In recognition that the rising costs of energy and water are placing pressure on low income households, this Budget provides for a significant boost to utility concessions in the order of $131 per annum…

People on low incomes will now be able to access a Legal Aid Commission Help Desk to help resolve their legal problems, with funding of around $1.7 million over four years provided.

Mr Speaker, the task of supporting children and young people at risk is not an easy one. This Budget provides additional assistance for those children and young people who live in foster or kinship care, with funding of $2.2 million over four years provided.

Kinship carers now form around half of all carers of children in out of home care and are further supported with funding of $1.7 million over four years.

Young people who are transitioning from out of home care to independent living, are being provided with the additional assistance of $2.1 million over four years.

Young people at risk need to be diverted from the justice system if their lives are to improve.

The Government is providing supplementary funding of $5.5 million over four years for the Bimberi Youth Justice Centre to increase funding for staffing, program and security…

Funding of $1.9 million over four years is allocated to the Office for Multicultural Affairs and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs to strengthen support for Indigenous Canberrans and people from a range of diverse cultures. This includes funding to enhance the Multicultural Festival and the Work Experience Support Program.

Further capital funding of $4.5 million is provided to complete the refurbishment of the Flynn Community Hub and the former Holt Preschool. A Holder Early Childhood Centre will be constructed with $7.5 million in funding allocated.

Early childhood facilities are being upgraded, with $10.5 million in recurrent and capital funding provided, to ensure they meet national quality standards. In total, more than 800 long day care places will be created…


Justice and Community Safety:

Funding has been provided for $2.9 million over four years to ACT Policing for the implementation and ongoing support of random roadside drug testing.

Court security is further improved, with $4.6 million over four years allocated for additional sheriff and correctional officers and upgrades to facilities.

Around $21.1 million is allocated for an additional 30 front line Ambulance Service paramedics and five ambulances in response to the need for more services in Dickson and West Belconnen.

Six additional headquarter ambulance staff are also funded to improve response capability.

Work on the Emergency Services Authority’s station upgrades and relocation continues, with $4.7 million allocated for due diligence and forward design of fire and ambulance facilities across Canberra.

In recognition of the demands of our growing city, giving priority to investing in our frontline services and anticipating the retirement of a number of long serving senior staff, we will invest $1.1 million in the Fire Brigade Recruit College. Two new recruit colleges will be conducted in the next financial year. Protective equipment for our fire fighters is also funded with $2 million provided.

The Alexander Maconochie Centre receives additional operating funding of around $5.1 million over four years to better support offender programs, with $1.4 million for security upgrades.

Funding of $702,000 is provided for improved access to justice services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. A Guidance Partner will assist young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders who are involved in restorative justice. Galambany Circle Sentencing Court panel members will also receive appropriate remuneration.


Climate Change and Sustainability:

A Resource Management Fund of $2 million will provide an incentive for the ACT Public Service to improve resource and energy efficiency.

Funding of $1.5 million has being allocated to improve the quality and reliability of energy efficiency ratings for residential properties for sale. To ensure that new dwellings meet expectations of quality, safety and environmental sustainability, $6.7 million is provided for additional building inspectors.

The urban waterways program, trialling replacement of a proportion of potable water with stormwater, is also supported with just over $900,000 allocated over four years.

Funding of almost $800,000 has been allocated for further work on an ACT Government data management system, which will provide information on energy and water usage, recycling and green house gas emissions.


Media releases:

(more to come)


In other news the Canberra Times reports that Katy Gallagher’s office have once again cocked things up and delivered the budget to the opposition early before having to go and ask for the papers back.

And the ABC has Ross Solly’s budget highlights in a strange third person style.

What’s Your opinion?


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taninaus 7:46 am 05 May 11

2620watcher said :

I cant believe we have 18,000 public servants to run a Territory that houses around 340,000 residents? I mean WTF, 1 in 20 people to deliver local services…

I don’t know what other States / Territories are like, but any wonder people say the cost of government is killing us.

If you are comparing to other jurisdictions you have to count state and municipal (eg councils) as the ACT government does both. when you do that and compare the level of professionalism here to some of the local councils things look pretty good. Add to that that ACT Public Servants are paid significantly less than federal public servants and have less access to opportunities to waste tax payers money, even better – although not for the public servants who are there because they believe in working for the ACT community but aren’t rewarded for their dedication and loyalty.

And accommodation ratings Lillypilly – I leave the clear definitions up to the Property Council but broadly it is like the classes between hotels and airlines – the higher up the scale you go the prettier it looks and the more facilities/services/benefits it has – D grade is usually older, uses much more power, has only the basic facilities but A grade will come with Greenstar/NABERS ratings, plush fixtures and decorations, extras like breakout rooms and common eating areas, historically was located nearer to the CBD type areas. Things are changing a little with the introduction of NABERS (energy efficiency) ratings and that is now the new norm with most Governments requiring 4.5+ ratings.

Lillypilly 9:21 pm 04 May 11

Can someone explain or link what Class A class B etc accommodation is? This 420 million dollar building is to get public servants out of “C and D” buildings and not something new and shiny.

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