The ACT government has handed down the 2021-22 budget, after it was delayed from August 31 due to the territory's COVID-19 outbreak.
Here's what you need to know about the big ticket items, and what they might mean for you.
Around 31,000 Canberra households most in need will receive a one-off increase of $200 in the utilities concession on their next electricity bill, while residential landlords will be awarded for reducing rent for tenants whose income has dropped due to the outbreak by 25 per cent. Landlords will be provided land tax credits of 50 per cent of the rent reduction up to $100 per week from August to December 2021.
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People who are out of work due to being tested for, or contracting COVID-19 can receive payments of up to $1500 until June next year, under an extension of the ACT hardship fund.
The vaccination program will be expanded by $22.5 million to ensure everyone who wants a vaccine can get one, and $3.9 million will support the delivery of additional mental health services for people affected by the pandemic and lockdown.
Building on the jointly-funded business support grants, an additional extension payment of $10,000 for eligible employing businesses and $3750 for non-employing businesses per two-week period is available for September 18 to October 15, 2021, while larger businesses can apply for top-ups up to $60,000.
Eligible businesses in the tourism, accommodation, arts and events, hospitality, education, fitness and sports industries can apply for one-off grants of $5000 to $25,000, while eligible commercial landlords who reduce rent payable by businesses impacted by COVID-19 can receive rates rebates from August 1 to December 31.
The commercial liquor permit fee waiver is extended until March 31 2022 for current permit holders, the COVID-19 payroll tax exemption waiver has also been extended until June 30 2022
Eligible community and business tenants of ACT government-owned properties will have rent waived between September 1 to December 31 2021, and license renewal fees for construction occupation licenses will be reduced in 2021-22.
The ACT government will splash $500 million over the forward estimate on bolstering Canberra's core health services.
Canberra Hospital will see four additional ICU beds by 2023-24, while capacity in the emergency department will also be expanded to cope with demand over four years, adding more medical and nursing staff, including the introduction of a medical navigator and a new acute medical unit.
Ten additional acute mental health inpatient beds will also be added to ward 12B at Canberra Hospital over four years, and the adult mental health unit will have capacity increased.
More elective surgeries and a post-surgery recovery program will be made available in 2021-22, while emergency surgery capacity will also be boosted over four years.
Calvary Public Hospital will receive funding for the 24/7 operation of a medical imaging service from this year, as well further infrastructure upgrades and expansion of sterilising services.
A new cancer research centre will be established to improve the quality of cancer care in the ACT through research, while Centenary Hospital for Women and Children will receive two additional intensive care cots for the NeoNatal Intensive Care Unit.
Five new low-emissions vehicles will be added to the ambulance service's fleet as well as funding for more staff.
Infrastructure projects across hospitals, schools, transport and local facilities will increase over the next five years, supported by a $5 billion investment.
Eleven local shopping centres across Canberra will be upgraded over the next four years, meaning construction will begin at Duffy, Campbell and Gwydir Square, while play facilities in six Canberra suburbs will be built or upgraded, and more dedicated dog parks are on the way in Lanyon Valley and Franklin.
More walking and cycling paths will be constructed, while Monaro Highway will be upgraded, and the first stop at Woden for light rail's second stage will be funded.
The ACT's existing 12,000 public housing properties will receive more funding for repairs and maintenance, including kitchen upgrades, domestic violence security works and disability modifications, totalling $80 million over the next four years.
Sixty new public housing dwellings will be constructed and specialist homelessness services and other existing services will receive $8.6 million over four years.
Build-to-rent accommodation is also on the agenda, with the government seeking expressions of interest build and operate long-term rentals with an affordable rental component on nominated land release sites.
500 priority three-year-olds will receive free education over two days per week, for 48 weeks per year, and 42 full-time learning professionals and support staff will be funded to meet recent growth in the ACT school system.
Year 7 to 12 students will continue to receive their own Chromebooks, totalling $21 million over four years, and free internet access will be provided to secondary students who needs it, totalling $2.8 million over four years.
Margaret Hendry Primary School will be expanded, and a new high school in Taylor will be constructed, while Garran Primary School will be expanded, and works for a new primary school in Strathnairn are under way.
Households and not-for-profit community organisations can apply for zero interest loans of up to $15,000 to help with the upfront costs of investing in rooftop solar panels, battery storage, zero emission vehicles and energy efficient electric appliances, as part of the $150 million sustainable household scheme. Concession card holders can apply for subsidies for the cost of solar installations, up to $2500.
Over the next three years, 54,000 new trees will be planted to grow Canberra's urban canopy coverage.
MORE A.C.T. BUDGET:
- Everything you need to know about the 2021-22 ACT budget
- Hopes on consumers for economic recovery as ACT posts largest ever deficit
- The winners and losers in this year's ACT budget
- A time to spend boldly, but future needs balance
- $461m for core health services, including more mental health, ICU beds
- Gaps in business support a concern for retailers
- Canberrans slugged with rising debt levels in years to come
- Rubber hits the road on electric bus program as Monaro Hwy upgrade gathers pace
- Barr hopes AIS Arena could remain mass vaccine hub for booster shots
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