Page 2068 - Week 06 - Wednesday, 7 June 2017

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Budget—election promises

MS STEPHEN-SMITH (Kurrajong—Minister for Community Services and Social Inclusion, Minister for Disability, Children and Youth, Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs, Minister for Multicultural Affairs and Minister for Workplace Safety and Industrial Relations) (6.52): During the election campaign I said many times that a vibrant, sustainable and inclusive city does not create itself; these cities are built by governments with a vision for a better future. Many people during the campaign spoke to me about ensuring that Kurrajong, the heart of Canberra, is responsive, well designed and supports those in need. This is exactly what the 2017-18 ACT budget delivers.

As I noted in my inaugural speech, we have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to ensure that the Northbourne Avenue corridor and the city, the entrance to our bush capital and the heart of Canberra, are revitalised in a way that we can be proud of for generations to come.

This is a government with a vision for a better future, that delivers on it and that will deliver on its vision for urban renewal. In the city and Northbourne corridor, this work will be led in part by the new city renewal authority. I am very pleased that this authority will clearly and decisively take a design-led approach.

The budget delivers on the election commitments Labor made to the community during the election, such as the new green rapid bus routes to connect Woden to the city through Manuka and Barton. Not only will this connect people from Woden to Manuka and Barton, and Barton and Manuka to the city, but it will also provide a better link for people living in Narrabundah, Griffith and Red Hill, with a more direct route to the city.

The budget also delivers on the expansion of the flexible bus service for residents of the inner north from next year and the development of a Common Ground in Dickson. During the election campaign, and now as I speak with people, it is clear that ensuring all Canberrans are supported, access appropriate services and can enjoy the life and culture of Canberra is a critical concern for the people of Kurrajong. In this budget the government has made good on its commitment to provide better support when it matters. This is illustrated by our commitment to support for people with a disability.

In December I officially launched the office for disability, a commitment we made to demonstrate the ACT government’s ongoing commitment to ensuring that the ACT is the most inclusive and accessible city for people with disability that we possibly can be. We also recognise that there have been challenges in how the NDIS is changing the support system for people with disability in the ACT. That is why yesterday’s budget provided an additional $2.2 million to the office for disability, to continue to support the ACT’s transition to the NDIS. We are also delivering on our commitment to provide $200,000 in funding for disability access grants to fund training, increased awareness and infrastructure modifications for community organisations to enable them to include and engage people with disabilities in every aspect of life in our city.

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