The ACT Budget was handed down this week and it appears to be a safe and steady budget, with a focus on services. Investment will be focused on schools, hospitals, roads and parks. Oddly for an election year, little pork barreling seems to have occurred anywhere in Canberra.
The biggest single investment in Belconnen is for the University of Canberra Public Hospital currently being constructed on the corner of Aikman and Ginninderra Drive. The investment in that facility from this budget is $212 million dollars, and will benefit all of Canberra, not just Belconnen residents. As well as much needed health facilities it will provide jobs and become part of the integration of UC with the town centre.
Some budget announcements that directly benefited Belconnen were the announcement of the duplication of Aikman Drive and upgrades to local shopping centres at Charnwood and Spence.Belconnen schools will receive upgrades, such as an early learning space to be built at Maribyrnong Primary in Kaleen and the CIT in Bruce will receive 1.7M dollars towards upgrades.
Local playgrounds in Florey and Evatt will be also be provided with finds for upgrades and improvements.
The 9.8M dollar Aikman Drive duplication announcement is an important step in smoothing traffic through the town centre, especially with a growing population accessing town centre services, such as the UC Public Hospital that is being built right now. As well as the road duplication, a cycle path and footpath will be constructed.
Other heavily used arterial roads in the area require attention, such as Kuringa Drive and William Slim Drive, and the BCC will continue to lobby for those upgrades.
The ACT Treasury has prepared a Belconnen specific budget breakdown (available from this link). As your community council we would like to ask you:
- What do you think of this budget?
- Where can the government invest our money and improve Belconnen?
- What specific improvements do you think are needed?