ACTCOSS Director Susan Helyar said today that ACTCOSS welcomes the decision of the ACT Government to delay large parts of the $2.5 billion infrastructure package announced in the last ACT budget, including the City to Lake development and a new national Convention Centre.
Ms Helyar said: "With more than one thousand households in Canberra living in Mr Fluffy houses missed in the earlier rollout of asbestos remediation, a response from government is needed urgently.
"Budgets reflect the values of the Government that sets them. ACTCOSS supports the ACT Government re-prioritising capital investment in infrastructure to ensure the needs of people facing immediate health and wellbeing issues associated with living in houses with the potential to cause asbestos related diseases are met as quickly as possible.
"When failures in the integrity of regulatory and market processes are found, prompt action is needed to address the human consequences.
"ACTCOSS also welcomes the announcement by the Chief Minister that money for hospitals, schools and public transport would remain untouched. This shows the needs of people and the infrastructure that support positive health and social outcomes for current and future generations are being held as highly as the infrastructure needs of business and economic wellbeing.
"The ACT Government recently opened up consultation on the 2015-2016 ACT Budget. That Budget needs to demonstrate that the ACT Government values addressing substantial gaps in our core infrastructure - so our communities are safe and offer support when people need it, no one in Canberra has to go without a safe, affordable house to live in, every citizen can access quality healthcare when they need it, is engaged in education that prepares them to contribute as a citizen and to get a job, and wherever you live in Canberra you can access transport that is affordable and supports your social and economic participation.”
Ms Helyar concluded: "In the 2015-2016 Budget ACTCOSS is looking to the ACT Government to follow up on the commitment they showed to social justice for the 1000 Mr Fluffy householders and ensure the infrastructure spending agenda equally values social and economic development needs in our community."
For more information or comment please contact
Susan Helyar, Director, on 0448 791 987.