It was, by 2020 and 2021 standards, a bore.
In stark contrast to the volatility and unpredictability of the past 12 months, the ACT budget handed down on Tuesday afternoon was entirely unsurprising.
The "new" projects had already been announced, the support measures for households and businesses already extended (for now).
Even the headline figure for this financial year - a $600 million deficit, down from the $909 million projected in August - had been dropped to the media a day early.
As a result of its peculiar timing, the 2020-21 budget did not bring news of rates hikes or a thawing of government fee freezes - though Canberrans have been warned that both are on the horizon.
Chief Minister Andrew Barr's ninth budget as ACT Treasurer contained no shocks. It was, dare I say, boring.
It is worth delving into why Barr's budget was boring, for it tells a story about his government and the state of the economy he's trying to steer out of a once-in-a-century shock.
First to the lack of new projects. There were no new shiny and expensive projects to unveil on Tuesday because the Barr government is flat-out trying to build all of the old ones it has promised.
The $500 million Canberra Hospital expansion, Woden light rail extension, Woden CIT all sit in the infrastructure pipeline, patiently waiting to be delivered.
Add in an expanded public housing renewal program, a suite of planned school infrastructure projects and various items in the Labor-Greens parliamentary agreement, and the ACT government has more than enough on its plate.
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Mr Barr has all but conceded he's run out of excuses when it comes to delivering the long-delayed hospital upgrade. Canberrans can expect future ACT budgets, at least from a infrastructure perspective, to be similarly shock-free until the existing pipeline of projects start to clear.
Now to the ACT's budget bottom line, and the largely predictable news that it had improved considerably since the last update in August.
The ACT economy has been somewhat of an outlier among Australian states and territories through the pandemic, contracting less sharply and bouncing back quickly from the shock of last year's shutdown.
Canberra's economy actually grew in 2020. The capital's labour market, which was expected to contract in 2020-21, is now expected to swell by four per cent this financial year.
The numbers contained in Tuesday's budget papers essentially confirmed what we already knew: The ACT economy is, aside from a few significant exemptions (tourism and international education), well on its way to recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic - even while the virus still rages around the world.
It is a remarkable feat.
But what the ACT's bounce-back - now confirmed in black and white - has done is remove what cover the Barr government had to stall or delay the delivery of essential infrastructure.
Canberrans also accepted that it was necessary for their government to wreck the territory's budget position to combat the crisis. But they might have less of a tolerance for massive deficits and debts - and the interest payments that come with them - now that revenue is flowing back into budget coffers.
Presuming there is no fresh COVID-19 outbreaks, and the vaccine is rolled out effectively, the "cover of COVID" has been removed.
There is no hiding now.
- Budget extends payroll tax, licensing fee help for businesses
- COVID-19 vaccine funding to continue for at least four years
- COVID-19 hardship fund reduced as homeless services boosted
- Gungahlin schools take lion's share of education infrastructure spend
- Analysis: Barr's boring budget a sign of better times
- Record infrastructure spending despite lack of new projects
- New service to help businesses switch fleets to zero-emission vehicles