On Tuesday the 7th of June the ACT Government released its 2016/17 Budget. The Government is forecasting a Headline Net Operating deficit of $94.3 million in 2016-17, a deficit of $35 million in 2017-18, and a return to balance in 2018-19 and 2019-20.
Health: The Budget will invest $99.5 Million Dollars into the upgrade and maintenance of the Canberra and Calvary Hospitals and other health facilities with an additional 54 new health staff and 21 new treatment spaces at the Canberra hospital emergency department and the expansion of trauma and neonatal care services.
Education: The Budget dedicates $41.5 million to improve facilities and administration for schools across the ACT. An additional $24.7 million to further improve the standard of education being provided to all of our students in schools across Canberra.
The Woden Valley Community Council ACT Budget submission October 2015 (Attached)
Woden funding at a glance:
|New Works –|
|Upgraded learning spaces at the Woden School|
|A new food technology facility at Alfred Deakin High school|
|Woden bus interchange, minor works||$300,000|
|New Woden Bus Depot (at existing site), design stage||$775,000|
|Hindmarsh Drive, new traffic lights for Launceston St/Eggleston Cr/Tuggeranong Parkway off ramp along Hindmarsh||$1,520,000|
|Walking/Cycling improvements, Woden town centre area||$1,000,000|
|Cotter Road duplication (Tuggeranong Parkway to Yarralumla Creek)||$29,500,000|
|Woden Cemetery expansion Stage 1 (Eddison Park public space)||$558,000|
|Works in progress (funded in previous budgets)|
|Shopping Centre Upgrade Program – Red Hill and Lyons(?)||$343,000|
|2015/16 Urban Renewal Program|
|– Melrose football precinct||$6,353,000|
|– Phillip Oval upgrade||$4,363,000|
|Woden Bus Interchange – Redevelopment Stage 1 (demolition/new stairs/lift)||$1,635,000|
In summary the WVCC is disappointed with the ACT Budget outcome for Woden as it does not address the issue of ageing infrastructure and loss of facilities. The urban amenity and liveability around the town centre continues to be major concern for the WVCC. The expansion of the Woden Cemetery will mean further loss of public open space, which won’t be replaced.
While there is federal funds for some Yarralumla creek improvements associated with the ACT Basin priority project, the ACT Government needs to commit further funds and a program to naturalise and improve the urban amenity of the full Yarralumla creek stormwater drain.
Further feasibility works are still continuing on a Community/Arts centre but no funds for capital works have been allocated.
Several consultant studies have warned the ACT Government about the decline and lack of sport and leisure facilities in Woden. This needs to be a priority, if Woden is to become a contemporary urban precinct for higher density living and also a major employment centre.
While there are some funds for transport which also includes the last stage of the Cotter road duplication, the Government needs to redesign and fully upgrade the Woden Bus interchange to a national and world class facility independent of its arrangement with the shopping mall owners. Only $1 million is available for Active travel improvements around the Woden town centre when the consultant feasibility study recommended 13 areas for improvements totalling $12 million.