Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 6 Hansard (6 June) . . Page.. 1778..
works program totalling $272.2 million bringing benefits to Canberrans of all ages, and all interests.
There are the big-ticket items-the $45 million West Belconnen School, the $21 million primary school in East Gungahlin and $20 million for road repairs.
There's the $17.3 million new emergency services headquarters at Fairbairn.
Then there are the smaller projects, the ones that secure our environment, ensure our safety, improve our amenity.
Significant projects include:
- $800,000 for a neighbourhood oval at Harrison;
- the creation of a predator-free sanctuary at Mulligans Flat reserve;
- an upgrade of the Canberra Theatre, to improve disabled access;
- the upgrading and refurbishment of government office assets;
- a temporary additional car park at the Canberra Hospital;
- $3.9 million for the upgrade of fire trails;
- $1.4 million for a high-rise emergency vehicle; and
- $2.4 million for a new waste disposal cell at Mugga tip.
And, as in past years, we are conscious of the need to maintain existing assets and preserve the amenity of infrastructure. Funding of $32 million has been set aside for capital upgrades.
Mr Speaker, living beyond our means implies not just that we have spent too much, but that we have earned too little.
Yes, our expenditure on tourism has been 111 per cent higher than the national average. Yes, our expenditure on health is 13 per cent higher than the national average and our inpatient costs 22 per cent higher.
But our revenue-earning capacity has been correspondingly low.
We are not, it must be said, a high-taxing jurisdiction.
Figures from the ABS in March this year show that combined state and local taxation in the ACT is 11 per cent lower than the average of all the states and territories.