Barr’s budget fanciful and full of spin


The ACT Labor-Greens government has today handed down a budget full of spin that will fail to address a number of serious problems plaguing Canberrans, following 21 years in power.

Canberra Liberals Leader and Shadow Treasurer Elizabeth Lee said with net debt at $6.524 billion in 2022-23 and forecast to rise to $9.882 billion by 2025-26, Canberrans have every right to ask where that money has gone.

“Every budget this treasurer has delivered is the same play book; promise an improvement in the operating budget across the forward years which does not eventuate and start again with a new promise the following year,” Ms Lee said.

“Today, we have seen yet another budget handed down by the Chief Minister full of spin and announcements that only highlight the significant failures of this government over the last decade.

“With our health system at breaking point, our education system failing, basic city services not up scratch and the ACT in a housing crisis, this Labor-Greens government continually fails to deliver.

“This is an underwhelming budget; a budget that is business as usual for a tired, complacent government that long ago stopped governing in the best interests of Canberrans.

“It is astounding this government continues to spruik the hospital expansion every budget that was promised a decade ago, while Canberra continues to have the longest emergency department wait times in the country and a health system in crisis.

“This Chief Minister has systematically cut funding to health since 2015-16 to the point where our frontline workers are at breaking point and Canberrans are being treated in hospital hallways.

“Frontline staff across a number of areas are inadequate and none more so than in our schools despite the Labor-Greens government promising 400 teachers at the last election.

“Once again, all this budget provides for our education system is more demountables, not enough teachers and funding to begin plans for a new college in Gungahlin that is years overdue.”

Ms Lee also called out the Chief Minister for failing to be upfront with Canberrans when announcing his housing package over the weekend.

“All the Chief Minister provided was a glossy document that failed to provide a breakdown of single, medium and high density housing for the 2023-24 financial year and beyond,” Ms Lee said.

“What we do know is the Labor-Greens government plan to deliver 17 fewer dwellings in this new land release program than what was previously promised; Canberrans deserve genuine choice when it comes to housing options and Labor along with the Greens are failing to provide it to our community.

“Canberrans deserve so much more than they are getting under this government and I hold serious concerns about what impact this continued mismanagement will have for the people of Canberra,” Ms Lee concluded