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Focus on health, housing, cost of living and infrastructure in Cabinet changes

The ACT Government will strengthen its focus on health, housing, cost of living and infrastructure with changes to the Territory Cabinet announced on the 11th of December 2023.

Canberrans will be able to access free public health care at the expanded Canberra Hospital, and the nurse-led walk-in centres will be offering even more free health services. Work will also continue on the new network of health centres and the Northside Hospital in Bruce.

The Government is also supporting the construction of more homes using a combination of planning reforms, urban renewal precincts, new suburban land release, build to rent incentives and stamp duty cuts to increase supply and improve affordability of owner occupier and rental housing in the Territory.

In 2024, work will continue on key projects outlined in the Government’s Infrastructure Plan. There will be progress on the planning, design or construction of a number of once-in-a-generation projects that will shape our city’s future. This includes the new Woden CIT Campus, the Molonglo Valley Bridge, the city theatre precinct, light rail to Commonwealth Park, a new indoor entertainment facility and the health, education and sports precinct in Belconnen.

As they deliver their comprehensive health, housing and infrastructure plans, the Government will continue to support vulnerable Canberrans experiencing cost-of-living pressures.

In the lead up to the 2024 Budget, the Government will establish a new cost-of-living sub-committee of Cabinet. The sub-committee will be tasked with developing proposals that can alleviate financial pressure on Canberrans most impacted by energy, education, health and transport costs during a period of high national inflation.

To support the implementation of the Government’s priorities, there will be several changes to portfolio responsibilities in the Cabinet.

Chris Steel will take on the Planning portfolio aligning with his existing transport responsibilities. In this role, Minister Steel will work with Deputy Chief Minister Berry and Andrew Barr on the delivery of the Government’s comprehensive housing supply plan through the Territory’s new planning system.

Rachel Stephen-Smith will add Disability to her portfolios, leading the ACT’s engagement with the Australian Government on the joint design of new disability foundational supports and reforms to the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

Rebecca Vassarotti will add Parks and Land Management to her current environment portfolio responsibilities. In this role, Minister Vassarotti will work closely with Minister Gentleman to reduce bushfire risk in our national parks and nature reserves.

Emma Davidson’s current portfolio responsibilities in community services and health will be broadened to include community sector reform and a new portfolio of population health. This new portfolio will focus on improving health outcomes across our community in both physical and mental wellbeing.

Please refer to the full ACT Government media release for more information.