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Saturday, June 19, 2021

Federal Budget: Canberra-specific measures

The Budget has allocated $70.9 million for national institutions: $1.6 million for the National Portrait Gallery, $2 million for the National Film and Sound Archive, $6 million for the National Museum, $9.9 million for the National Library of Australia, $16.8 million for the Museum of Australian Democracy (Old Parliament House), and $34.6 million for the National Gallery of Australia.

Chief Minister Andrew Barr said the Commonwealth Government’s commitment to fund capital works upgrades for these institutions was “a long overdue step in the right direction”.

“This funding will assist the institutions to recover from the economic impacts of COVID-19, sustain local jobs, and bring new visitors to our city.”

More budget coverage:

Greens candidate Tim Hollo said this investment was “a long overdue band-aid”, but paled compared to the $498 million the Government planned to spend on extending the War Memorial, including demolishing Anzac Hall.

“That development is strongly opposed by the ACT community. The National Capital Authority just received a record number of submissions on this issue, and yet the government is running ahead as if the community voice doesn’t matter.”

The funding for national institutions follows the announcement earlier this week that the Federal Government had committed more than $167.3 million in the budget for roads and light rail.

“I have been heartened over the past few months that the Commonwealth has begun to recognise how important Canberra is for our region,” Mr Barr said.

“We are the major health, education and economic hub for the ACT and southern NSW, as well as the focal point of our nation.”

Last week, the Federal Government announced it would co-fund an ACT Asbestos Disease Assistance Scheme ($8 million).

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