The Australian Capital Territory has announced a massive $5 billion infrastructure program as part of its 2021-22 ACT Budget, to create thousands of jobs and support its economic recovery.

With 250 projects and 14 ongoing programs of work already underway, the largest infrastructure program in the history of the Australian Capital Territory’s public sector will support more than 15,300 construction jobs, and help reach the goal of more than 250,000 jobs in the territory’s economy by 2025.

Australian Capital Territory Chief Minister and Treasurer, Andrew Barr, said, “Our infrastructure investment program provides an important pipeline of activity to support the economy and create jobs. 

“Interest rates are the lowest since Federation, providing a once-in-a-century opportunity for the government to build sustainable, productivity-improving and growth-enabling infrastructure to prepare our city for the future.”

Capital investment priorities continue to be health, education, public transport, public housing, climate action and urban renewal.

Health

Health and wellbeing infrastructure funding of $877 million over five years to 2025-26 will include new funding for projects such as a Cancer Research Centre at the Canberra Hospital, infrastructure upgrades at Calvary Public Hospital, planning for a new carpark at the Canberra Hospital and planning and design for a future hospital in Canberra’s north.

Schools and TAFE

A total of $950 million of funding will be invested in CIT and education infrastructure over the next five years. This helps to ensure that every child has a place at a great local public school and supports a skilled workforce as we recover from the impacts of this crisis. 

This investment will expand Margaret Hendry School and build a new high school in Taylor. It also includes nine new modular learning centres, design works for a new primary school at Strathnairn and a modernised Narrabundah College, road infrastructure for East Gungahlin High School and funding to prepare to modernise Garran Primary School.

Housing

Over the next five years, infrastructure investment in housing and community support and safety will total $935 million, including over $580 million for public housing growth and renewal. 

Quality community support, housing and safety infrastructure supports the effective delivery of vital services, including to vulnerable members of the community.

Transport

Funding of $1.4 billion will allow for upgrades to Canberra’s sustainable and connected transport system, upgrades to roads and paths and improvements to active travel routes across the city. 

Projects include the first light rail stop for stage two of light rail to Woden, detailed design and construction of the Sulwood Drive shared path and the duplication of William Hovell Drive.

Suburban infrastructure

Funding of $8.5 million will be allocated in 2021-22 to upgrade and improve major venues that host major sporting and other events in Canberra. This includes consultation and planning works for a staged expansion of Exhibition Park in Canberra, a new video replay board and upgrades to GIO Stadium, a new video scoreboard and upgrades to Manuka Oval and a feasibility study for a second sealed access road for the National Arboretum Canberra.

 Funding of $2.9 million over two years will also be allocated for detailed design work for carpark upgrades at Stromlo Forest Park.

Emergency Services

Emergency services will receive a boost of more than $12 million for upgrades to the facilities across our emergency services including refurbishments for the Gungahlin Joint Emergency Services Centre. To protect our environment, a new state of the art fire-fighting tanker has been purchased at a cost of $550,000 and fitted out with appropriate safety equipment in preparation for the 2020-21 bushfire season.

Community facilities, parks and playgrounds

Planning and upgrades for new community facilities across Canberra include:

  • $18.7 million for local shopping centre upgrades
  • $9 million to progress the Throsby Home of Football
  • $300,000 over two years for a feasibility and design study, including a co-design process to determine a delivery approach for community facilities in Gungahlin
  • $1.65 million over three years for detailed design work for the Southern Memorial Park
  • $15 million over three years to deliver a purpose-built facility for Gugan Gulwan Youth Aboriginal Corporation at its current Wanniassa location, to ensure it can continue to deliver vital services for children, young people and families
  • $5 million to continue the Healthy Waterways Project

Casey community will benefit from a new community recreation park with $3 million over four years allocated for detailed design and construction. 

Planning will include $600,000 for improved and new amenities for Yerrabi Pond District Park and $2.8 million over two years to begin design and consultation to transform the Acton Waterfront into a place for people. 

$5.3 million will also be invested in new or upgraded play spaces in Kaleen, Ngunnawal, Chisholm, Gordon, Lyons and Aranda.

Public Trading Enterprises

In addition to the $5 billion of investment by the General Government Sector, an additional $1.4 billion will be invested by Public Trading Enterprises over the next five years which will result in a record $1.3 billion in 2021-22 and $6.4 billion over the five years to 2025-26.

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