Stages set for funds
More than $3 million went to the Canberra Theatre Centre in yesterday's budget, to be used for improvements including new seating and backstage facilities, and the Tuggeranong Arts Centre received $2 million for an upgrade. The Lanyon Heritage Precinct will receive $230,000 over three years to fund more events, an increased community use of the former Nolan Gallery Building and expanded garden-based programs. The government also committed $300,000 to a feasibility study and design for stage two of the Belconnen Arts Centre development.
Video game probes
New money to inspect video game stores for compliance with new R18+ classification laws was provided in yesterday's budget. The government set aside $526,000 over four years to conduct compliance inspections on sites known to sell or hire R18+ video games. The federal government introduced the R18+ classification earlier this year.
The ACT government will save $20,000 by removing indexation for the Audrey Fagan grant program. The program, named in honour of the former chief police officer, offers scholarships and grants to young women.
The government will spend $260,000 trying to encourage new Canberrans to update their details with Medicare - and therefore help boost the territory's share of GST funding.
Vietnam vets boost
Vietnam veterans will get $210,000 to keep supporting serving and retired military personnel in the region.
Live bus updates
ACTION passengers will be able to get live information about the arrival times for services from next year, after the government allocated $1.7 million over the next four years for a mobile communication system for buses.
Pay park options
Canberra drivers are likely to get new pay parking machines, with the government to spend $300,000 examining replacements that could ''offer a range of payment options and improved accessibility''.
Hardware and tear
Canberra public servants will keep their monitors, mice and keyboards for longer under the ACT government's savings drive. However, Treasurer Andrew Barr said computers would still be replaced. This is expected to contribute to $4.8 million of planned savings.
Green rego fees
Registration fees will soon be determined by the car's environmental performance. The ACT government has agreed to link the two to provide incentives to purchase more efficient vehicles - once the information is available. ''At present, the Green Vehicle Guide only provides information on the environmental performance of new vehicles sold in Australia from 2004,'' the budget papers said.
The government will offer incentives for redevelopment on Northbourne Avenue. ''Lease variation charge remission will be provided for developments achieving high environmental performance above the current practice and construction codes. The government will also provide waiver of conveyance duty to support high quality developments,'' it said.
Actew is forecast to give the government an extra $15.7 million, or $85 million, next financial year thanks to expected ''more normal water consumption as a result of drier weather conditions''. It fell $19.3 million short of expectations at $69.5 million this financial year ''primarily due to lower than expected water revenue due to the cooler and wetter weather''.