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Stanhope finds some extra money

By Thumper 15 February 2008 5

The Canberra Times is reporting that the ACT budget surplus has been upgraded by $100million a year for the next four years.

Chief Minister and Treasurer Jon Stanhope said the revised budget surpluses were “a great result”.

Much of the extra money will be spent on health for hospital upgrades, new psychiatric units including a forensic mental health unit and facilities in Gungahlin.

Starting this year, the Government plans to spend more than $500million on health infrastructure over the next decade.

Extra money would also be spent on roads, and on a new high school for Gungahlin which had not yet been funded. There could be some money for indigenous programs and the homeless.

And cuts to taxes and charges were “certainly on the agenda”.

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Stanhope finds some extra money
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Skidbladnir 9:17 am 20 Feb 08

You live in Gungahlin Al?

minime2 12:29 am 20 Feb 08

I live in Gunghalin “Al”, so the high school on the same road Burgman should be an example of good planning? Traffic chaos now … add another bigger school … ?

Thumper 9:37 am 16 Feb 08

Sorry pierce.

I could have said that he’s obviously been building up a war chest for the coming election.

Or why the hell are we paying a fortune for rego, etc.


Gungahlin Al 6:43 pm 15 Feb 08

On the issue of additional infrastructure for the Gungahlin area, I wish to say we (GCC) are pleased that the ACT Government has realised over the last year or so that there is a lot of catching up for them to do out our way.

On 16 August, the Chief Minister was responding to the first wave of budget surplus on 666 with Ross Solly, and said “We can now get on with investing in the infrastructure we so desparately need.”

Can’t argue with that. And we’ve certainly seen the start of this in the last few months. Credit where it is due.

I’ll give you the scoop on what I said in my interview with ABC TV today, as I don’t know which bits they’ll use.

The Gungahlin town centre has several key projects heavily in the planning stage but without funding committed. So these would be important to secure – namely the new library, aquatic and fitness centre and the main oval. All are next to the college which is funded and due to start construction this year. So the precinct should come together as a whole. There should also be funding allocated to implement the recommendations that will inevitably flow from the Town Centre Traffic Study which starts within days. Our goal is to see semi-pedestrianisation (good word for hangman!) of Hibberson Street and rerouting of through traffic around instead of through the town centre.

We need to bring forward the start date of the Harrison High School, as the projected 2011 start will see many students have to go back to Amaroo for up to three years, involving a lot of daily back-tracking for east Gungahlin residents, not to mention disruption for the children.

Roads ACT have agreed with our proposal to once and for all solve the traffic chaos around Burgmann School, and the bill will be about $300,000 – small cheese comparatively but big impact resulting.

And Flemington Road is rapidly approaching crunch point, so desparately needs 4-laning, also thereby allowing better bus service reliability.

Much of this isn’t new to the Chief Minister, and was also discussed on our website last year.

I appreciate some here will be thinking “do you want to leave any for the rest of Canberra?” Sure, but people have to acknowledge that the lion’s share of property sales (and resales it seems) are happening out there and it is those sales that are putting so much of the funds into their coffers.

Which leads of course to the question of why they are collecting so much. It is clear that the LDA has been driving up land prices through inadequate supply. They base their pricing on several valuations, which of course show the market going up – because of the land drought that they themselves have created.

The extra $30-40,000 a block now costs over less than 2 years ago has completely wiped out already any benefits that might flow from the much-vaunted Housing Affordability Task Force.

I’ve said this in our newsletter Gungahlin Smokesignals, which will be delivered to some 14,500 households next week, and I’m calling for a moratorium on increases in new land prices until such time as the ACT Government has caught up with the unmet demand.

To put the supply problem into perspective, 156 blocks in Franklin will be balloted this weekend. Some 750 families have already been told they have missed out. How much more will they pay when they eventually secure a block if prices are not frozen?

pierce 5:18 pm 15 Feb 08

Hey Thumper, I think someone is posting under your name – I didn’t see any Stanhope bashing at all in that article 🙂

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