Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 10 Hansard (Thursday, 14 September 2017) . . Page.. 3732 ..
classrooms and facilities across the territory, our significant investment in public transport, and our revitalisation of town centres.
It is also why, since 2012, the government has invested almost $3.2 billion in infrastructure and capital works in Canberra, making our roads safer and more efficient, boosting our public transport network and building better public spaces and places. That is why there is another $2.8 billion in the infrastructure pipeline over the next four years.
The territory’s borrowing program supports this investment by giving us access to the resources we need to build Canberra for the future, whilst delivering quality services today. Without a borrowing program, the territory would not have the resources to invest now for future growth, to avoid congestion and to expand our health and education networks.
Affordable and sensible borrowing is one of the tools that we use to build a better city, and we will continue to draw on this within the framework of responsible fiscal and budget management.
MR STEEL: Chief Minister, what are the advantages for the territory of engaging in financial markets?
MR BARR: The infrastructure that we build today, from light rail to the SPIRE centre at the Canberra Hospital, will be used by generations of Canberrans. These are projects that span decades. When we are building infrastructure that will benefit generations of Canberrans, it is fair and reasonable that we pay for this infrastructure over time and not up front.
The second advantage of engaging in financial markets, particularly international ones, for our borrowing is that it raises awareness of Canberra among institutions and investors who can bring new ideas and investment to our city. When we travel to Singapore or to Tokyo to meet with investors who manage portfolios larger than the entire territory economy, we are putting Canberra on the map as a place to invest and do business, especially given our world-leading AAA credit rating. This has paid clear dividends for Canberra over the years since I commenced undertaking our post-budget investor roadshow in Asia, with foreign investment in our city growing and supporting more local jobs as well as a more diverse local economy. We put great stock in our credit rating and in our approach to the market. Financially literate and savvy investors around the world do the same.
MS ORR: Chief Minister, how has tapping into international financial markets reduced costs to the territory and contributed to the sustainability of our borrowing program?
MR BARR: By looking overseas to engage with international investors we diversify the territory’s investor base and, as with any market, adding more players leads to competition and to better pricing. Every dollar we save in interest on the territory’s borrowings is a dollar that can be invested back into infrastructure and services for the community. Having a diversified investor base is important for ensuring that there is a