An extra $10 million will be spent helping to accelerate small-scale infrastructure projects across Canberra, as the Barr government expands another of its key COVID-19 economic recovery programs.
Chief Minister Andrew Barr will on Thursday announce the second phase of the government's suburban infrastructure program, which is designed to support jobs and construction activity as the sector battles through a coronavirus-induced slump.
It comes two days after Mr Barr announced an $8 million boost to the government's public sector employment scheme, offering an additional 100 temporary positions to Canberrans pushed out of work by the pandemic.
The government initially committed $25 million to fast-track the delivery of small, so-called "screwdriver-ready" infrastructure projects across all parts of Canberra.
Funding was brought forward for upgrades to footpaths, bike lanes, public schools, sports ovals, as well as venues including Canberra Theatre Centre, National Convention Centre and National Arboretum.
Mr Barr said the second stage would include $8 million for new projects and $2 million for planning and design work. Among the new projects is a $50,000 lighting upgrade at Canberra and Region Visitors Centre to address safety issues.
He was tight-lipped on the other projects, but said funding would be allocated for upgrades to public buildings, maintenance at schools and urban renewal work.
"As well as providing more jobs and supporting more businesses, the projects will stimulate the ACT economy and renew local infrastructure across Canberra," he said.
Canberra's peak property industry groups have been supportive of efforts to speed up the delivery of small local projects, but believe more needs to be done to head off a major downturn in the sector.
The Master Builders Association last month pitched its own package of stimulus measures to the ACT government, which included a $40,000 grant to new home buyers, a cladding rectification fund and new investment in public housing.
Mr Barr said he would consider adopting parts of the 16-point plan, but explicitly ruled out introducing a cash grant for new buyers. He has since announced the immediate introduction of stamp duty incentives for new home buyers - a policy applauded by industry.
The Chief Minister is also preparing to announce a major new investment in public housing.