Belconnen is a great place to live and work, and this Budget will help make it even better.
Our roads will be improved, including much-needed traffic lights for the Tillyard Dr/Ginninderra Dr, Tillyard Dr/Lhotsky St intersections in Charnwood, and the Owen Dixon Dr/Kuringa Dr intersection in Spence. William Slim Drive is also going to be duplicated, helping the traffic flow from Belconnen to Gungahlin.
For our many cyclists we can look forward to a new bikeway which will connect the town centre with the University of Canberra and through to West Belco, as well as an extension of the Lake Ginninderra Circuit with an overwater boardwalk beside the Belconnen Arts Centre
Higgins Oval will be revitalised. It will have new turf, a new irrigation system, lighting, and toilet facilities. Canberra is an active city so these upgrades will provide a fresh activity space for people to enjoy. It will also benefit families connected to the childcare centre and for future residents of the retirement village.
The Emergency Department at Calvary will be expanded, and the mental health unit will be upgraded. There will also be upgrades to the Brian Hennessy Rehab Centre to transition mental health patients into supported accommodation. And there will be an upgrade to facilities at the Winchester Police Centre.
There will also be more investment into mowing, weeding, graffiti removal, cleaning up our waterways, and tree trimming.
The ACT Government is delivering a stronger justice system as an essential element of a strong community through the Budget. A key part of our work has been our response to the Royal Commission’s recommendations and the National Redress Scheme for survivors of child sexual abuse.
The Budget is providing a $7.3 million investment for more staff and resources for the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) to respond to complex criminal trials. There will also be an investment of $5.4 million to appoint an additional Magistrate, and to provide additional resources to Legal Aid and the DPP to manage a large case load.
$640,000 will be allocated to establish a Seniors Rights Service as part of Legal Aid to provide targeted legal services to older Canberrans who are experiencing, or vulnerable to, elder abuse.The ACT Government is delivering a stronger justice system as an essential element of a strong community through the Budget. A key part of our work has been our response to the Royal Commission’s recommendations and the National Redress Scheme for survivors of child sexual abuse.
VETERANS AND SENIORS
There is a $3.1 million investment to expand the Older Persons Mental Health Intensive treatment Service to provide stronger case management and clinical care to our older Canberrans being discharged from hospital, living in residential aged care or experiencing issues with housing.
As well as the Seniors Rights Service, the Budget is providing $1.8 million to support veterans and seniors through increased grants funding and an ACT Public Service employment program. This will include extra staff for the office for Veterans and Seniors, dedicated, separate grants rounds of up to $80,000 for both veterans and seniors, and we have also provided the resources to develop the Veterans Employment Strategy.
The suburb of Page will see a number of improvements to make it a more age friendly suburb. There will be new paths along Birrell Street between Burkitt Street and Dallachy Street, a new path along Knaggs Crescent between Burkitt Street and Dallachy Street, as well as a new path connecting Thozet Place and Bynoe Place through the open space.
ARTS AND EVENTS
The ACT Government will fund an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander arts officer in the 2018-19 Budget. Providing access to an ATSI arts officer will ensure inclusion and access for members of our local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. The position will also provide culturally appropriate advice and will help to strengthen relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to celebrate and develop their culture, and responding to needs to support the ongoing development of artists and identify pathways to support them in a professional practice. Celebrating and raising the prominence of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art in our community is another way of furthering our commitment to reconciliation, while acknowledging the work ahead of us. You can watch the announcement here.
The Government will provide additional operational funding to the wonderful Belconnen Arts Centre to support the centre to keep delivering exhibitions and public programs during the disruption caused by the construction of Stage 2 and to get ready to run a centre that will double in size. Construction starts soon on extensions that will add a new town-hall style 400 -seat auditorium and new galleries, workshops, and rehearsal studios to the existing facility. I look forward to watching this progress.
We will continue to invest in Access Canberra by providing 5 new call centre staff and additional concierge services at our shopfronts. With this new investment, we’ll be able to take calls more quickly, ensuring we’re making it easier, simpler and faster for people to do business with the ACT Government.
And the Government has also committed to find the right technology to update our disability parking permits. Unfortunately, disability permits are sometimes fraudulently used in the ACT which makes it difficult for people with legitimate mobility issues to find parking. New technology will reduce passes being fraudulently used, helping to ensure that people with disability can easily find a parking spot in Canberra.
If you would like further information about anything in the ACT Budget, there is an easy-to-read A-Z of initiatives here, or contact my office with any specific questions: firstname.lastname@example.org