The ACT government has slashed the number of dwelling sites planned in the territory as a result of federal cuts to the public service. The loss in revenue from the reduction in land sales is expected to reach $244 million over four years.
The budget shows 3000 dwelling sites have been removed from the government’s Indicative Land Release Program. It now includes a sales target of 13,500 dwelling sites over the next four financial years.
Sites have dropped this financial year from 4700 to 3600, from 4500 to 3300 in 2015-16 and will stay at 3300 dwellings to 2017-18.
The government says the reduction is a direct result of the ‘‘decisions of the Commonwealth government to significantly reduce the size of the Australian Public Service and the subsequent impacts’’.
‘‘Reduction in employment leads to lower economic activity, lower land sales and longer term reductions in the territory’s revenue base,’’ hit says.
The cuts to the land release program are expected to cause a fall in revenue of $244 million over the next four years.
Treasury figures forecast a loss in revenue of $40.4 million next financial year and $86 million in 2015-16.
The estimated loss in revenue for 2016-17 is $55.1 million and in 2017-18 will reach $62.5 million.
It is also estimated that job cuts will have had an impact on the current financial year with an $8 million loss in revenue predicted.
Land Development Agency chief executive David Dawes said the agency was still preparing sites for housing in addition to what was outlined in the program.
He said further dwelling sites would be released when the market improved and buyer demand increased.
The agency will also be funding $96.3 million worth of infrastructure works in large development sites such as Denman, Coombs, Moncrieff and Lawson.
According to the Indicative Land Release Program 2014-15 to 2017-18 the government will sell more than 1000 dwelling sites in Gungahlin and more than 600 in Belconnen next financial year.
There will be about 400 sites released in central Canberra, Molonglo, with about 500 to be sold in Woden and Weston Creek, and 531 in Tuggeranong.
The land release program includes the release of land in eight greenfield suburbs including Moncrieff, Coombs, Throsby, Taylor and West Belconnen.
The Land Development Agency has removed about 800 dwelling sites from central Canberra that were outlined for release under the previous program.
According to the budget papers, slowing economic activity driven by federal fiscal tightening and job cuts would likely curb recent momentum in the established housing market.
The government has widened the Pensioner Duty Concession Scheme to all Canberrans over the age of 60 to provide a greater incentive to downsize. It means home buyers over 60 will pay stamp duty of just $20 on a house less than $595,000.