2024-25 ACT Budget Prioritises Healthcare, Housing, and Cost of Living

ACT, Australia

The 2024-25 ACT Budget has been released, focusing on key areas such as healthcare, housing, and cost of living for Canberrans. The record $2.6 billion investment in healthcare aims to ensure residents have access to the right care at the right time. Highlights include introducing minimum nurse-to-patient ratios, expanding paediatric care, and increasing emergency and elective surgeries.

To address housing issues, the budget allocates more than $285 million for various initiatives. This includes $118 million for social housing assistance and homelessness services, $80 million for planning initiatives to strengthen housing choice and quality, and $67 million to support private renters and first-time homebuyers. The government is also continuing to support new housing by making more land available through the Indicative Land Release Program.

Recognising that some residents are still experiencing cost of living pressures, the budget provides a new, one-off $250 payment to support local apprentices and trainees. Additionally, over 40,000 low-income households will benefit from an increase in the Electricity, Gas, and Water Rebate to $800 per year.

The government is also delivering an $8 billion Infrastructure Investment Program over five years, focusing on public transport, roads, active travel, education, health, city services, recreation, community facilities, entertainment, arts, sport, housing, climate action, and environmental infrastructure.

The ACT’s strong economic growth over the past decade is expected to continue, albeit at a slower rate this year due to short-term economic challenges. Despite rising costs, the Territory’s financial position remains strong, with a balanced budget expected over the forward estimates.