The ACT has embarked on its largest ever infrastructure spend with $4.3 billion earmarked over the next four years, but there were no new projects announced in the budget.
The Molonglo River bridge crossing and the new Canberra Institute of Technology campus in Woden are the winners of the big-ticket infrastructure items in the ACT budget.
But the extension of Canberra's light rail network will only receive a fraction of the territory's $914 million infrastructure blitz this financial year.
There will be $176 million spent on the extension of John Gorton Drive over the next four years, involving the construction of a bridge over the Molonglo River to link Molonglo Valley and Belconnen. This money includes the $87.5 million pledged by the federal government.
The territory government has allocated $41 million next year for the detailed design and construction of the project.
The new Woden CIT campus and bus interchange has been guaranteed funding over the next four years.
There has been $240 million given to the project over the forward estimates. The bulk of the funding will be handed out in the 2023-24 financial year, when $92 million will be spent. The project is expected to be completed in September 2024.
Mr Barr said an ambitious infrastructure plan was constrained by the territory's AAA credit rating.
"Our ambitions do need to be constrained with a AAA jurisdiction debt coverage metric, I take that seriously and it has guided the nine budgets I have led," he said.
Mr Barr seized the opportunity to ask for Commonwealth funding.
"[The Commonwealth's] role in supporting the ACT through its procurement policies is very significant and if they want to sling us several hundred million for some ACT infrastructure I won't say no," he said.
It comes as the territory will wait to allocate funding to the light rail project to Woden until final Commonwealth approvals are given and procurement processes are finished.
Major Projects Canberra has been allocated $22 million to building the light rail to Woden and raising London Circuit this financial year. A further $5 million has been spent on other works.
A feasibility study, which looked at the possibility of extending the light rail to Mawson, was given $1.2 million.
There will be $40 million spent on the Canberra Hospital expansion this financial year. Funding for the coming years has not been allocated in the budget; rather it is held in the central provision.
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Master Builders ACT welcomed the infrastructure spending. Chief executive Michael Hopkins said the measures would provide short-term support to the industry.
"Focusing on the delivery of shovel-ready projects whilst also progressing design and planning for major projects will boost the confidence of the local industry and provide the necessary pipeline of future work to ensure local companies can continue to employ local people," he said.
But Mr Hopkins warned that long-term action was needed.
"Once the short-term benefits of economic stimulus wear-off, economic reform will be needed to drive growth in the local economy," he said.