The 2017-18 ACT Budget Update delivered today reveals that after a tough few years the ACT economy is now powering ahead.
The projected deficit for 2017-18 has halved and we remain on track for a balanced budget in 2018-19 and beyond.
Our economy is growing at four per cent, stronger than forecast in the June Budget. Almost 7,000 more people now call Canberra home than a year ago, attracted by the bright opportunities here and our world-beating quality of living.
Last year, over 10,000 new jobs were created in Canberra: the strongest year of job creation in a decade. Over 80 per cent of those new jobs were full time – giving Canberra families the stability and security they need to enter 2018 with optimism. This is a strong and very encouraging indication of increasing diversity in our economy.
A thriving economy and our steady work on fiscal consolidation have seen the Territory’s budget position strengthen.
As we grow, we need to invest in the services, infrastructure and community facilities Canberrans need and rely on. This Budget Review delivers:
- More surgeries this year – cutting waiting times to get more Canberrans back to health sooner.
- More paramedics to join Australia’s fastest responding crew – delivering on our election commitment and also bringing on additional staff to help meet demand pressures across the service.
- The rollout of laptops to all ACT public secondary students ahead of schedule to ensure they have the right tools to thrive at school.
- More investment in our courts and community safety to make sure the justice system continues to work effectively and efficiently, while respecting people’s rights.
- An increase in the Utilities Concession by $50 this year, to help eligible households meet their rising cost of living. This will bring the total payment available to $654 a year, which comes directly off people’s electricity bills to reduce their household costs.
In the 2017-18 Budget, we started delivering on a significant number of our election commitments, including major new investments in health infrastructure through building the SPIRE Centre at The Canberra Hospital, expanding the Centenary Hospital for Women and Children and delivering more Walk in Centres.
With this update we are continuing to deliver on our commitments, for an even better Canberra.
The Budget Review 2017-18 is available from the ACT Treasury website.
- Statement ends -
Section: Andrew Barr, MLA | Media Releases