25 September 2023

2018-19 Budget a balancing act

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The ACT Government is delivering on its promise to balance the Territory’s Budget at the same time as it is growing services and infrastructure to match a rising population according to Chief Minister, Andrew Barr.

Delivering his Budget address to the ACT Legislative Assembly Tuesday, Mr Barr said Canberra was a city of brilliant possibilities, with its continuing growth bringing opportunities as well as challenges.

“No other Government in Australia delivers as many services as we do,” the Chief Minister said.

“We take seriously our task to keep Canberra liveable with great schools, health care, efficient public transport, more housing options, a clean environment and exciting events.”

He said that four years ago the Government made the decision to return the Budget to balance over time: “Today we have achieved that goal”.

“The 2018-19 Budget confirms a balanced fiscal position in ever year across the forward estimates,” Mr Barr said.

“This means we are fully covering the cost of delivering services to Canberrans while building a responsible buffer against future risks or shocks,” he said.

“Our work to support the Territory economy through tough times has paid off.”

He said Canberra had now seen a sustained period of very strong economic growth .

He said the decision abolish the First Home Owners Grant was based on the findings by experts and analysis that the grants had not been effective in helping first home buyers enter the housing market.

“In fact, they can actually make housing less affordable by inflating people’s borrowing power and channelling too much demand into one small segment of the market,” Mr Barr said.

He said that as the number of homes receiving rubbish collection had risen by about 6,000 in the past five years, the Government has added four new ovals, 24 new suburban playgrounds and 10 playground upgrades in the same time.

He foreshadowed a new housing strategy to be released later this year, laying out the next phase in the provision of public, community and affordable housing.

The Chief Minister’s 11-page speech can be accessed at this PS News link.

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