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1998/99 budget highlights: The National Capital

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M e d i a

R e l e a s eTHE HON ALEX S O M L Y A Y MP Minister for Regional Development, Territories and Local Government 1998/99 BUDGET HIGHLIGHTS


The Federal Territories Minister, Alex Somlyay, today announced a number of Commonwealth measures to benefit the ACT in its further development as Australia’s National Capital.

“Canberra and its Region have a bright future and are developing the vital infrastructure, linkages, economic diversity and outward focus to make that future a reality,” Mr Somlyay said. 9 -V . ^

“The Commonwealth’s commitment to the National Capital as the seat of Government and centre of the nation’s public administration is firm and multi-faceted. A range of financial commitments across the Commonwealth are making a tangible and significant contribution to the future of the National Capital,” he said.

Commonwealth expenditure and other decisions affecting the ACT and the Region are delivering vital infrastructure for future economic development and diversification. National Highway expenditure and the decision to lease Canberra Airport are prime examples. In addition, Commonwealth construction projects in the ACT to the value of $471.9 million are

under-way or scheduled to 2000-01. These capital works provide local employment and stimulus to the Canberra business community.

Under Commonwealth/State financial arrangements, the Commonwealth will·be providing financial assistance of $548.5 million (net of ACT fiscal contribution) to the ACT in 1998-99.

Highlights for the National Capital from the 1998-99 Budget include:

. A commitment to extend the programme for restoration, maintenance and construction of National Capital assets to the year 2001-02, making a total investment of over $25 million . v frgm.1996- 2002;

. The National Capital Authority is to undertake a two year strategic review and initiate the development of a master plan for the Parliamentary Triangle;

• Provision of $0.5 million per annum for four years to fund the Commonwealth’s National Capital liaison activities.

Further details of the Commonwealth’s financial contributions to the National Capital are shown in the attachment.

Ends 12 May 1998

Contact: Graeme Hallett Minister’s Office 02 62777060

(B1) S41/98


National Capital Assets

In 1998-99 the National Capital Authority plans to develop an international flag display along the shores of Lake Burley Griffin in the Parliamentary Triangle. The flag feature, honouring the 78 countries with diplomatic representation in the National Capital, will add colour, movement and spectacle to the foreshore.

Canberra’s national assets set for restoration in 1998-99 include:

• Restoration of the Parkes Place fountains; • Landscaping and irrigation of the Anzac Parade central median; • Cycleway and path widening on the Commonwealth Avenue Bridge; • Landscaping to enhance the approaches to the Commonwealth and Kings Avenue Bridges -

the main approaches to the Parliamentary precincts; • Refurbishment of the Australian-American Memorial at Russell; and • Improvements to the access and amenity of the National Capital Exhibition at Regatta Point to better cater for the 380,000 or more visitors each year.

The NCA’s programme of land management will inject $5.7 million into the National Capital, including:-».., • $1 million in expenditure on Lake Burley Griffin, Scrivener Dam and the Captain Cook Memorial Jet; • Approximately $1 million on other works and lighting on National Land; and • $2.7 million on memorials, artworks and parks, including rose gardens.

• The NCA is to undertake a two year strategic review and initiate the development of a master plan for the Parliamentary Triangle.

Economic Infrastructure

Commonwealth expenditure is also delivering infrastructure vital for future economic development and diversification of the ACT and the Region. For 1998-99, the Government will be spending $22.84 million on roads in the ACT. Particular initiatives in the ACT and surrounding region include:

• Consistent with the announcement to complete the $75 million project from the Sutton interchange to Watson by the 2000 Olympics, $15 million has been allocated for work on the NSW side of the border and an initial allocation of $2 million for work within the ACT. Additional funds are earmarked in out-years to the year 2000, with the possibility of further funds for the ACT section this year if warranted by the construction schedule; $24 million to maintain momentum in the $120 million Lake George duplication project. Traffic will switch to the first of two new carriageways in May 1998 and the project will open

as a four-lane divided highway in 1999; • $300 000 to investigate future route options for the Barton Highway between Yass and the ACT border; • $460,000 for Black Spot Programme improvements at ACT localities with a bad safety


• $15 million will be spent on the Bookham bypass, part of a continuing programme of work on the Hume Highway; and • Plans for the Shoalhaven Highway from Nowra, which will improve linkages to and from the coast.

* Significant Commonwealth Construction Projects

Commonwealth construction work to the value of $471.9 million is under-way or scheduled to the financial year 2000-01. This work is being undertaken by the private sector in the ACT.

The key projects, which contribute to the development of important national institutions, design, construction, and related employment, and to the local economy, include:

• $154 million to establish facilities for the National Museum of Australia and the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies on Acton Peninsula; • $15 million for the redevelopment of the National Film and Sound Archive at Acton; • $2.5 million as the Commonwealth contribution to the refurbishment of the Australian War

Memorial galleries, and a further $7 million for related building works; • $15.4 million to be spent on Old Parliament House over four years commencing in 1997-98; • $280 million over five years to 2000-01 for redevelopment of the Russell Offices complex and work at RMC Duntroon and the Australian Defence Force Academy.

Commonwealth Payments to the ACT

Under Commonwealth/State financial arrangements, the Commonwealth will be providing financial assistance of $548.5 million (net of an ACT Fiscal Contribution of $10.2 million) to the ACT in 1998-99. This includes General Revenue Assistance of $310.4 million and Specific Purpose,payments of $248.4 million.

The General Revenue Assistance consists of:

• $281 .8 million in Financial Assistance Grants; • $3.6 million in National Competition Payments, subject to performance requirements being met; and • $25 million in transitional allowances and payments for special fiscal needs.

The Specific Purpose Payments include: • $26.2 million to assist the ACT Government in providing local government services • $19.9 million for National Capital influences on the cost of providing municipal services this assists the ACT in meeting the extra costs it bears from Canberra’s role as the National

Capital; and • $8 million in grant assistance for water and sewerage to compensate the A C T for extra costs resulting from National Capital influences on the provision of these services.

Contact: Dianne Gayler 06 6274 8020, ACT Branch, Dept of Transport & Regional Development Graeme Hallett, 06 6277 7060, Minister’s Office