Top Three Priorities for the ACT

Question

What does your party see as the top three priorities for the ACT?

Answer
Party Answer
ACT Greens

Our policy platform was developed by our members. The Greens are a party of the people, the environment and the future of our city - not a party for big business, developers or pokies. Our top priorities are:

1. Integrity in politics
We want to restore confidence in our government and planning decisions. Money and power should not be able to buy political influence, and the community deserves to have confidence that decisions are being made in their best interests.
The ACT Greens have committed to: 
• creating an ACT Integrity Commission with powers similar to the NSW ICAC 
• ban developer donations and stop corporate money from influencing politics;
• expand the ACT Register of Lobbyists and its Code 
• build on ACT Greens' nation-leading Freedom Of Information laws

2. Housing
Putting the community first means ensuring every Canberran has access to safe, affordable housing. The ACT Greens are committed to tackling Canberra’s hidden poverty with innovative affordable housing projects to ensure no one is left behind.
Housing affordability is a huge issue in Canberra, and around the country. This generation of home-leavers is the first that will be worse off than their parents, and are forecast to never be able to enter the housing market. We know there are vulnerable Canberrans struggling to find somewhere to live at all. The ACT Greens not only want to increase the amount of affordable housing, but we want to ensure homes are affordable to heat and cool and close to public transport. We have committed to: 
• Ensuring planning decisions that result in quality housing, connected neighbourhoods and a more liveable city, not just profits
• Establishing a universal housing plan which ensures every new home is built to a Livable Housing Design Silver Level
• Re-establishing the Planning Authority’s independence from government of the day;
• Mandating better design standards for new apartments;
• Improving renters' rights and set minimum standards for all rental properties
• And better funding our local homelessness services

3. Public Transport
The Greens have a plan for more buses, better walking and cycling infrastructure, and a light rail network that connects north and south Canberra. We will keep improving our transport system – and we won’t stop until every Canberran has the best quality public transport. That’s why the Greens have a plan for public transport for everyone. We have already committed to:
• Investing $57 million into the ACTION bus network to improve bus frequency and network coverage integrate bus routes with Stage 1 light rail 
• Powering our buses with clean, green energy so that we can benefit from public transport without trashing our air and our environment 
• Committing to to take light rail right through to Woden and power that with clean energy too, and 
• Pledging to freeze bus fares to keep transport costs fair for everyone.

ACT Labor

With our population growing by 5000 people a year, ACT Labor's top priorities for the ACT are: a strong health system; schools that help our children reach their true potential; creating and supporting secure and well-paid jobs; and delivering the infrastructure a growing city needs.

Healthcare has always been a priority for ACT Labor. Our 10 year plan for health will deliver essentia facilities where people need them. The plan includes a major expansion of women's and children's services, a new surgical hospital in Woden and a teaching hospital at the University of Canberra, new walk-in health centres in Weston Creek and Gungahlin, and more bulk-billing GP clinics on the southside.

Labor has a plan to deliver even better schools to help every Canberra child reach their potential. A re-elected Labor Government will provide tablet devices to all ACT High School and College students. Labor has listened to the calls from the community and from experts — if re-elected we will also fund 20 new school psychologists across Canberra. These new school psychologists will add to our existing services, providing students with access to professional assistance when they need it.

Labor will continue to invest in upgrading our school infrastructure. Labor will deliver a further $100 million to revitalise our schools and ensure high quality learning environments, including $15 million for our non-government school sector. This builds on the $70 million we invested in upgrades since 2012.

We will ensure CIT remains the primary provider of high-quality vocational education in Canberra. And every single Labor MLA will continue the fight for the full implementation of the Gonski needs-based funding model, because we recognise that all schools in the ACT, government, Catholic and independent— will all benefit from the full implementation of the original funding model.

ACT Labor has defended Canberra workers and the local economy from the Liberals' harsh cuts. We've worked hard to create and defend local jobs because Labor understands that every sacked worker is a person with a family and friends, not just a number on a balance sheet.

Canberra can't just rely on the federal public sector. That's why ACT Labor has been working hard to strengthen and diversify our economy. And our economic strategy is working: international flights have recently started. We have the fastest growing economy, the fastest growth in service exports, and the strongest jobs growth, in the country. Canberra's tourism market is booming like never before.

To continue building our economy, we must build the infrastructure our city needs. Labor has a plan to make these investments now, before our city descends into gridlock like Sydney or Melbourne. We must continue to build an integrated transport network and provide Canberrans with better transport.

That means boosting our bus services, road network and bike paths, and building light rail from Gungahlin through the City and Parliamentary Triangle to Woden, to have a true north-south spine joining our city together.

ACT Labor is the party that builds inclusion, equality and fairness in our community. Our investments, commitments, members and candidates all unite around these values. We want to keep Canberra the most progressive, inclusive and strongest jurisdiction in the country. 

Canberra Liberals

The Canberra Liberals’ main priorities at this election are to put a stop to the Labor/Green Government’s plan to build a tram at a cost of $1.78 billion for the first stage and $14 billion for the whole project. We believe that it will ruin our economy and divert resources from important priorities like health, education and better local services. Instead of a tram our priorities are:

(i) Keeping rates down, with increases more in line with CPI rather than we have seen under the current Labor/Green Government. We will stop the Labor-Greens plan to treble rates and to load the $14 billion tram on top. If there is not a change of Government, Canberra will become unaffordable for many.

(ii) Fixing hospital waiting lists which are the worst in the country, by building a $395 million expansion to Canberra Hospital and building satellite facilities in Gungahlin and Tuggeranong. Labor promised the hospital expansion before the last election, but reneged to put funds aside for the deposit on the tram.

(iii) Around $100 million additional investment over four years to support schools and schoolchildren. We can afford this because we won’t be paying for a tram. The additional investment includes:

i. $60 million to fund new infrastructure, capital upgrades and maintenance.
ii. $17.5 million to support children with special needs in our non-government schools. This will help meet the individual learning needs of those children and will go some way to assist in the implementation of the recommendations of the Shaddock Review. This is on top of the investment already allocated to the public system.
iii. $15 million in capital for non-government schools.
iv. $7.5 million for our specialised schools, including a $1 million grant for each of the four schools for specialised infrastructure.

Liberal Democrats

Our core promise to the ACT is that we will never vote for an increase in taxes, and we will never vote for a reduction in your liberties. Accordingly, the ACT Liberal Democrats consider the three top priorities for this
ACT election to be rates, free speech, and local business policy.

The failure of successive ACT governments to manage the budget has had significant negative impacts on both residents and small business operators. Ballooning debt is the hallmark of a government that has fundamentally lost its way. Debts will only be repaid through higher taxes and reductions in services, and have an unfair intergenerational impact, as younger residents are forced to pick up the tab for previous mismanagement. As highlighted by events in the federal sphere, Australia’s proud tradition as a robust liberal democracy is under threat through censorship. Governments are all too willing to impose restrictions on speech, and our polities—at both the federal and the state levels—need strong representation that will fight against this creeping censorship.

Sustainable Australia

We are a party from the political centre, and aim to secure an economically, environmentally and socially sustainable Australia and ACT.

You will find our ACT-specific policies and priorities here:
http://www.votesustainable.org.au/act

This outlines that our top 3 ACT priorities are to:
- Save Canberra from over-development
- Lower rates
- Protect our trees