ACT Election Announcements

Labor’s plan to support universities and future jobs

October 01, 2020

As part of our economic recovery plan, a re-elected ACT Labor Government will deliver a comprehensive jobs package to support our tertiary education sector and create future jobs in growth industries.

Our local universities have been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic.

They were left behind by the Federal Liberal Government by not including them in JobKeeper, which has had a huge impact on the future of many Canberra households that rely on these institutions for their income, or their education. 

The ACT’s tertiary education sector is one of our largest employers, and ACT Labor is committed to supporting our local universities and encouraging job creation over the coming decade.

A re-elected ACT Labor Government will move quickly to create and implement our Knowledge Capital Plan.

This plan builds on our reputation for supporting local innovation, encouraging more students to stay in Canberra when they graduate.

Our universities are also teaching the hundreds of nurses, allied health professionals and teachers that ACT Labor plans on hiring over the next four years. Our health and education plans rely on a strong and thriving tertiary education sector in the ACT.

ACT Labor’s Knowledge Capital Plan will consist of: 

  • A $30 million future jobs fund, providing finance for job creating or saving projects in the tertiary education and growth industry sector;
  • Payroll tax deferrals for local universities to help with cash flow pressures;
  • Sustainability loans to promote investment in renewable energy infrastructure to help universities reduce running costs;
  • The construction of the Northside elective surgery centre in partnership with University Canberra;
  • Expansion of the Canberra Innovation Network to CIT Tuggeranong and University Canberra in Belconnen; and
  • Continued support for Study Canberra to promote Canberra as a safe and inclusive destination in the domestic and international markets.

Prior to the impacts of COVID-19, ACT Labor worked with our universities to grow international education to be our first billion-dollar export industry with the sector valued at $1.08 billion in 2019.

If re-elected, we will keep working every day to support the sector to bounce back stronger and more resilient.

Only ACT Labor has the right plan to create more than 250,000 jobs by 2025.

Supporting our local universities and business in areas like cyber security, renewable energy and health innovation will continue to play an important role in creating the jobs of the future.