2019 ACT Budget: Steady As It Goes

Media Release

4 June 2019

This year’s Territory budget has a largely “steady as it goes” approach, according to the Canberra Business Chamber – although there is still room for additional business support.

“At the macro level, it is pleasing to see provision for new infrastructure, and continuation towards Stage 2 of the light rail project,” said Chamber CEO Dr Michael Schaper today.

“Initiatives such as additional support for tourism, major events, Brand Canberra, revitalisation of local shopping centres and funding for Canberra Innovation Network are also to be encouraged.

“However, in general it would be preferable not to have incurred a deficit of $89 million this year and $66 million next financial year.”

The budget rightfully recognises that the private sector now accounts for more than 62% of all jobs in the ACT, a point which the Chamber has been highlighting for some time now.

It also notes that over the last five years, the ACT has had one of the fastest growth rates for new business formation in the country. Almost all of these are small businesses.

“That means supporting the private sector is more important than ever,” Dr Schaper said.

“However, there is no funding for a general small business advisory service for firms outside the new technology sector. We remain the only state or territory without such a function.

“Overall, the city remains on a balanced scale, with generally optimistic forecasts ahead. We remain a fortunate economy and we should continue to build on our strengths.”

Media contact:

Dr Michael Schaper, CEO, Canberra Business Chamber
02 6247 4199