MIL-OSI Australia: ACT Budget: supporting jobs and a strong economic recovery


Source: Government of Australia Capital Territory

Released 01/10/2021 – Joint media release

COVID-19 has had a significant impact on jobs, businesses, and industries that are critical to our economy including the tourism, arts and events sectors.

The ACT Government has paid out over $475 million in business support since the start of the pandemic – including the ACT’s 50% share of joint funding packages with the Commonwealth.

The 2021-22 ACT Budget will make further investments to support job creation and encourage investment to drive a stronger economic recovery.

The $41 million Key Industries Package builds on a range of business support programs already in place and is part of our plan to grow our labour market to 250,000 jobs by 2025.

Tourism and events industries to receive more support

Additional funding of $20 million, on top of the emergency support already provided, will help the tourism and events sectors.

This will ensure there is significant investment in the pipeline to position Canberra in what will be a highly competitive marketplace when domestic and international tourism returns.

The ACT Government’s investments include:

  • $7.9 million towards Canberra’s well-established calendar of major events.
  • $2.5 million over two years for the Major Event Fund to attract new events.
  • $3 million to expand our tourism marketing activities over the next two years.
  • $1.4 million to support the National Capital Educational Tourism Project.
  • $1.3 million to the Canberra Convention Bureau to revitalise our conference and business events sector.
  • $750,000 in the Aviation Stimulus Fund, in partnership with Canberra Airport, Tourism Australia, and other destinations to attract low-cost airlines and more direct flights to Canberra and attracting future international routes.
  • $225,000 to support the continuity of the Canberra and Region Visitor Centre’s operations and enable it to continue to support tourism in Canberra and the region.
  • $200,000 over two years for the continued delivery of key events and awards programs, including the Canberra International Riesling Challenge.

Supporting Canberra to become the Arts Capital of Australia

The Statement of Ambition for the Arts, released today, aims to make Canberra Australia’s Arts Capital. This Ambition and its associated strategies will guide short- and medium-term decisions and will be the framework and context to craft our ACT arts policy and ACT arts funding model, in partnership with the community.

As a first step to realising this Ambition, more than $13 million in additional funding through the 2021-22 ACT Budget will provide support to local artists, arts organisations and cultural facilities.

Funding in this budget includes:

  • $4.2 million to progress site investigation and planning for an expansion and redevelopment of the Canberra Theatre Centre, including $1.4 million in urgent upgrades.
  • $2.4 million will assist the Cultural Facilities Corporation to continue its operations, retain staff, and rebuild theatre business in the post-lockdown period.
  • $2 million for the Tuggeranong Arts Centre theatre upgrade.
  • $2.1 million will go towards completing the remediation of lead contamination at the Former Transport Depot and reimburse Old Bus Depot markets stallholders whose stock has been impacted.
  • $960,000 for the expansion and activation of Canberra Museum and Gallery (CMAG).
  • $750,000 to establish a Holocaust Museum and Education Centre in Canberra which will be jointly funded by the ACT and Australian Governments.
  • $350,000 for HOMEFRONT 3, which was brought forward to support artists during lockdown.
  • $250,000 for the Ainslie and Gorman Arts Centre.
  • $246,000 to support training of theatre technicians at the Canberra Theatre Centre.
  • $200,000 for a new public art commission by a female or non-binary artist that celebrates the contribution of these groups.
  • $80,000 for the Belconnen Arts Centre.

Boosting jobs through business innovation and investment

The government will also invest $8 million to continue to support business recovery so we can attract more investment and create more jobs as the ACT economy rebounds once again.

Initiatives to support local business innovation and development include:

  • $3.2 million to reinvigorate international trade and engagement with key markets aligned with our International Engagement Strategy.
  • $1 million to continue the ICON Grants Program, delivered by the Canberra Innovation Network which helps entrepreneurs develop and grow their innovative ideas.
  • $920,000 over four years to deliver both an accelerator program and a full concierge service to better support the development of local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander businesses.
  • $504,000 over two years to attract new businesses and investment into Canberra to further grow our economy.

The ACT Government will also continue to create job opportunities through the Future Jobs Fund, including:

  • $500,000 for the continued development of the Canberra Cyber Hub.
  • $450,000 towards the Academy of Interactive Entertainment’s sound stage development.
  • $322,000 for a Workforce Strategy to attract workers to the ACT’s growing industries.
  • $200,000 for key industry advocacy.
  • $150,000 for Significant Capital Ventures to help drive innovation in Canberra and build investment links between business and research.

The ACT Government will also extend the application fee waiver for obtaining and amending commercial liquor permits from 30 September 2021 to 31 March 2022 to support the hospitality industry through the ongoing impact of COVID-19.

The payroll exemption for new apprentices or trainees will also be extended until 30 June 2022.

Quotes attributable Chief Minister Andrew Barr:

This is a critical Budget to ensure our economy bounces back strongly from the impacts of COVID-19.

Fundamental to our economic recovery will be investing in the industries which are the engines that drive employment growth in the ACT, focusing on attracting new investment to our city and rebuilding out tourism and events sectors.

These initiatives will play a pivotal role in building a resilient and diverse economy and help us achieve the target of more than 250,000 local jobs by 2025.

Quotes attributable to Minister for the Arts, Tara Cheyne:

In recognition of Canberra’s flourishing creative community, our statement of ambition to be recognised as Australia’s arts capital is a bold step, but it’s not a leap.

This ambition and its associated strategies will guide, influence, and connect arts policy, funding, facilities and regulatory decisions and activities in Canberra over the next five years—and this is reflected in our new budget initiatives.

Every single person and organisation in our arts community has a role to play in realising our ambition, and I look forward to this work.

The ACT Government will invest $200,000 in a new public art commission by a female or non-binary artist. The government recognises that better reflecting the diverse nature of our community in public art is a powerful way to express gender equality.

The ACT Government is proud to provide funding to establish the Holocaust Museum and Education Centre in Canberra, which will be an important reminder of the ongoing need to maintain a respectful, multicultural society.

Establishing a permanent Holocaust Museum in the ACT will ensure the stories of ACT survivors of the Holocaust are never forgotten.

– Statement ends –

Section: Andrew Barr, MLA Tara Cheyne, MLA | Media Releases

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