In its mid-year review, the ACT Government has emphasised the need to prepare for future challenges, especially in easing congestion and climate resilience.
The 2019-20 ACT Budget Review lays out the ACT Government’s plan for future investment.
The review has a strong emphasis on disaster resilience, after the 2019-20 summer demonstrated the critical need to prepare emergency services for more extreme weather events in the future.
To further the ACT Government’s efforts to combat climate change, it has directed further investment towards reducing emissions and protecting the local environment. This investment follows the ecological disaster that has occurred in the Namadgi National Park in February 2020.
More electronic fire danger rating signs and a fire detecting camera trial have been funded, to keep the ACT prepared for the worst.
The review also includes more investment in public health, a new school for Molonglo, increased support for the tourism and hospitality industry and more investment in public transport. The ACT Government will continue delivering more bus drivers and more light rail services during peak periods.
The Budget Review comes in response to a challenging economic and trade environment, which is impacting consumer and business confidence and resulting in lower tax collections.
Like all states and territories, the ACT will receive less funding from the Goods and Services Tax (GST) in the 2020-21 financial year, which has impacted its Headline Net Operating Balance in the short term.
The ACT Government will seek to prioritise the investment in Canberra and its economy in the coming years, to deliver certainty from the government that the infrastructure and service investment will continue as the city grows.