ACT budget: Barr spends big on government IT

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The Mr Fluffy asbestos saga has blown a large hole in the ACT budget, but apart from that, Treasurer and Chief Minister Andrew Barr is staying on track.

The ACT Government plans to create almost 300 new full-time public service jobs in the next financial year as it spends up big on IT upgrades and develops its own workers’ compensation scheme.

Plans for infrastructure and urban renewal continue, including funding to build and refurbish facilities and equipment used right across the community in education, health, the arts, sport, events, disability support, emergency and municipal services, and government administration.

The Education and Training Directorate’s budget will have $615,000 directed towards “countering domestic violence” in 2015-16 through programs for teachers and students. That comes on top of a $250,000 commitment to a domestic violence “awareness and prevention campaign” at a later date, in a joint project with the Commonwealth.

“Heightened community awareness of domestic violence is creating increased demand for assistance,” the budget states, explaining that a further $250,000 to be split between the Rape Crisis Centre, Domestic Violence Crisis Centre and Canberra Men’s Centre.

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