Labor Member for Brindabella Karin MacDonald MLA has welcomed the handing down of the 2007-2008 ACT Government Budget, stating it is a budget for the future that supports our growing city, community and economy in practical ways.
The Budget delivers an operating surplus of $103 million in 2007-2008 and provides funding for the second largest capital work and upgrade program since self-government.
“The 2007-08 Budget really is a budget for everyone. It puts in place a number of initiatives and programs that will be ongoing and benefit the community well into the future,” Ms MacDonald said.
“Many initiatives of the Budget will benefit all Canberrans, such as new education, health, environment and capital work programs, however there are a number of Brindabella specific funding allocations. Some of these include:
. $50 million in additional funding for the design and construction of a new P-10 school in Tuggeranong. To be built on the site of the current Kambah High School, the preschool will be closely linked to the primary school to form an early childhood school integrated within the school complex. The school will be constructed with a commitment to environmental sustainability and is expected to open in 2011. Canberra Institute of Technology’s involvement with the new school will also be examined.
. $4 million to upgrade the Lakeside Leisure Centre in Tuggeranong, with work to include retiling the 50-metre pool and the reconstruction of the heating/ventilation/air conditioning system and the roof/ceiling structure. The Centre will also be painted inside and out.
. $9.5 million to build the new Tharwa Bridge over the Murrumbidgee River at Tharwa. The bridge will be single-lane, with a bike and pedestrian lane and will provide safer access for residents and essential services such as fire and ambulance.
. $2.8 million to upgrade and improve playgrounds and parks across the Territory. The playground at Eddison Park in Woden will be expanded, a new exercise track will be built and the pond area will also receive a facelift. Playgrounds in Chifley, Wanniassa, Gowrie, Fadden Pines, and Gilmore will all be upgraded and work will also take place at the Kambah District Park and the Point Hut Pond District Park. Two Liberty swings, which enable people with a disability to experience the sensation of swinging, will also be installed in Tuggeranong and Gungahlin.
. $3.4 million to duplicate Athllon Drive from the Anketell Street south roundabout to connect with the existing duplication adjacent to the Australian Archives Repository. The project will also include the upgrade of the Athllon Drive and Barr Smith Avenue intersection and the Scollay Street, Pine Island Road and Estate Road intersection. These works will result in better traffic access for the proposed residential development in Bonython West.
. An additional $2.6 million over four years for the new Tidbinbilla Nature Discovery Centre. The 30-hectare Centre is expected to open in early 2008 and will provide unique outdoor and environmental education experiences for Canberrans and visitors. The funding will assist in the delivery of visitor and educational programs, wildlife collection management and more intensive land management. It will also help to provide a stronger educational emphasis on indigenous history and cultural associations with the region.
. $130,000 to develop walking trails at Mt Taylor and Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve. A new track will be built on Mt Taylor to replace the closed Richmond Fellowship Walking Track and will conform to best practise in terms of grade, surface and water diversion. New tracks will also be developed in Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve.
. $300,000 to develop two recreation areas devoted to dogs and their owners in Tuggeranong and Belconnen. One ‘Dogs’ Park’ will be established at Lake Tuggeranong and another at Lake Ginninderra. The parks will provide the opportunity for dogs to socialise and exercise off-lead.
. More than $700,000 to maintain and upgrade several art facilities in Canberra including the Tuggeranong Arts Centre. The well-used facility will receive new signage and the floor will be resurfaced.
. $1.9 million to expand the Junction Youth Health Service in Civic and provide for better youth health services in Tuggeranong, Belconnen and Gungahlin.
. $50,000 to build a jetty on Lake Tuggeranong for Sailability ACT. Sailability ACT plays an important role in the community, particularly for community members who have a disability. Half their members have a disability and they provide these members with the opportunity to experience the excitement of sailing. The construction of a jetty will greatly assist members to access the boats and also reduce the stress and pressure placed on volunteers.
“The Government has identified the key areas of need in our community and has addressed these areas through significant capital work programs and upgrades and additional support programs and services,” Ms MacDonald said. “I am pleased that Brindabella has received significant funding in this year’s Budget and congratulate the Treasurer Jon Stanhope on his second Budget.”