Labor: doing what we mentioned we would do, no surprises

Andrew Barr… “Canberrans voted decisively for an skilled and progressive authorities.”

In his third and ultimate column reviewing the mid-term achievements of the Legislative Meeting, MICHAEL MOORE appears to be like at how the Labor Occasion sees its achievements.  

LABOR within the ACT Meeting are pleased with what they’ve achieved over the primary half of this time period of the Meeting. Nevertheless, they’re additionally eager to give attention to what’s forward. 

The problem for Labor is to steer the neighborhood, regardless of greater than 20 years in authorities, they’re energetic and revolutionary and deserve one other time period.

Chief Minister Andrew Barr not too long ago advised the Meeting: “Two years in the past Canberrans voted decisively for an skilled and progressive authorities”. He was framing his speech round “delivering the infrastructure and providers to make sure our metropolis continues to be one of the habitable on the planet”.

The primary two years of this Barr Labor and Greens authorities was robust. The worldwide pandemic put enormous well being and monetary strains on all governments in Australia and internationally.

Labor pursued a $500 million program in direct grants in an effort to stimulate the financial system. They continued sustaining financial development that has been the hallmark for the ACT yearly since self-government in 1989.

Whereas sustaining Canberra as one of the habitable cities on the planet, the Barr authorities additionally addresses the difficulty of local weather change. Their goal is web zero by 2045. Addressing these twin targets, the federal government has expanded monetary help for Canberrans to make their houses and neighborhood services extra sustainable by way of the Sustainable Family Scheme. This award-winning scheme has delivered greater than $98 million in loans and hundreds of sustainable upgrades.

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The ACT is already a world chief in addressing local weather change by way of renewable vitality. Round 5 per cent of eligible households have accessed the Sustainable Family Scheme together with rooftop photo voltaic, electrical heating and cooling, and electric-vehicle chargers. Working with the Greens, Labor plans to proceed constructing on this achievement.

Within the pipeline is the Large Canberra Battery. That is designed as a part of probably the most habitable metropolis, to help a 100 per cent renewable electrical energy grid and to make sure the renewable vitality we generate will be saved regionally. Add to this the event of extra choices for transport such because the transfer to have all new automobiles bought after 2030 to be electrical automobiles and the extension of sunshine rail to Woden.

Our well being system was underneath extraordinary stress all through the primary half of this electoral time period. Sadly, over the past decade, and extra not too long ago, there have been horror tales of avoidable deaths within the hospital whereas ready instances in emergency and for elective surgical procedure have blown out significantly. There is no such thing as a one silver bullet and the issues with our public hospital methods are exacerbated by cuts to the well being finances. 

Nevertheless, the federal government will proceed the Canberra Hospital growth by way of 2024 and have dedicated to hiring 400 new nurses, medical doctors, and healthcare professionals. Authorities medical centres have expanded. The newest dedication being the Molonglo Valley Medical Centre. The intention is to take the pressure off hospitals and ship medical providers extra appropriately and nearer to the place they’re wanted.

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By the covid period, the ACT achieved the very best vaccination charges in Australia and amongst the very best on the planet.

Whereas each dwelling proprietor understands the problem of ever rising land charges, the federal government may be very pleased with their progress in eliminating stamp obligation. 

Hopefully, this “extra progressive tax system” will help first-home patrons and mitigate a few of the impression of the price of housing. Though the federal government has been challenged on shifting funds from the sale of public housing into help for gentle rail, additionally they have launched new public and social housing to help Canberra’s most susceptible. 

This consists of opening Widespread Floor Dickson that delivers 40 new houses for people and households susceptible to homelessness.

On social justice points the ACT had the very best vote on marriage equality, and Canberra is formally an official “welcoming metropolis” and “refugee welcome zone”. Over the subsequent two years Canberra “would be the first jurisdiction to lift the legal age of accountability and decriminalise small-scale possession of medicine”.

In line with Barr: “We’re a metropolis that isn’t afraid to steer. We’re a city-state that doesn’t shrink back from advanced challenges. 

“As in any democracy, some in the neighborhood won’t agree with each coverage and each resolution. That’s understood. However, to be clear, we’re doing what we mentioned we’d do. There aren’t any surprises”.

Michael Moore is a former member of the ACT Legislative Meeting and an impartial minister for well being. He has been a political columnist with “CityNews” since 2006. His columns can be found at

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Ian Meikle, editor