The Victorian Government stays committed to building road and rail projects the State and its people need to get home safer and sooner while providing more affordable transport options.
Through the Victorian Budget 2023/24, the State Government is allocating $7.3 billion towards the delivery of transport projects across the regions.
Not only will this significant investment slash travel times and improve safety, but it will also support the overall growth of the state economy. Victoria’s Big Build projects support 20,000 direct jobs and provide career paths for apprentices, cadets and trainees to give Victorians “confidence that if they learn a trades, there will be a job for them on one of our major projects”.
“We’re doing what matters for Victorian commuters: removing level crossings, providing more transport connections than ever before, and building the road and rail projects we need to keep our city and state moving,” Minister for Transport and Infrastructure Jacinta Allan said.
The recently announced Stage Budget considers current economic conditions as well as the potential impacts of the Australian Government’s 90-day national infrastructure review.
While the review is being carried out, the State Government is getting on with the delivery of the road and rail projects Victorians voted for – including fixing the missing links in the State’s transport networks and creating thousands of jobs across the state.
The Victorian Government has committed $112 billion in planning, building, running and upgrading the State’s transport network since 2014.The delivery of Big Build projects has been carried out since then, including the Metro Tunnel, the Level Crossing Removal Program, the Suburban Rail Loop, the West Gate Tunnel and the North East Link as well as many other projects.
“Whether you’re dropping kids at school, hauling grain to port or commuting to work, our record investment in the state’s roads and ports means less congestion, shorter travel times and a better-connected Victoria for everyone,” Minister for Roads and Road Safety and Ports and Freight Melissa Horne said.
Removing 110 Level Crossings by 2030
The State Government is aiming to remove 110 dangerous and congested level crossings across Melbourne by 2030. This is the largest project of its kind in the state’s history.
To date, about 68 level crossings have already been removed and by the end of the current program, the Lilydale, Sunbury, Cranbourne, Pakenham, Frankston and Werribee lines are going to be level crossing-free.
In addition, 40 new and upgraded stations have also been delivered along with more than 50 kilometres of walking and cycling paths and up to 20 MCGs worth of open space – all ahead of schedule.
The program has seen about 6,000 people working on the projects during peak construction period, with over 79 million work hours clocked.
An additional 25 level crossings have already been marked to be removed. You can find the list here.
Safer roads and improved travel times
The 2023/24 Budget includes a $2.8 billion commitment for a program of road maintenance and renewal as well as flood recovery works across the metropolitan and regional road network. This significant investment will include routine maintenance, road resurfacing and rehabilitation, and bridge and drainage repairs that will support the productivity of state roads.
$694 million is being allocated for a road blitz that will upgrade key roads and intersections across Victoria, including in Altona Meadows, Wyndham Vale and Bacchus Marsh.
Other initiatives include:
Upgrading the Melton Line
The Victorian Budget 2023/24 includes a $650 million funding allocation to upgrade the Melton line. Not only will the upgrade enable bigger and better trains to run on it, but it will also increase the region’s train capacity by 50 per cent.
The Melton line upgrade, along with the Victorian Government’s plan to rebuild Melton Station and remove four level crossings, will provide families in the west a high-quality public transport network that they deserve and allow them to leave the car at home.
Better Metro trams and trains
The State Government is continuing to build the Metro Tunnel to help untangle the City Loop as well as delivering more trams and trains across the region.
With the tracks already laid in the Metro Tunnel and station fit out is being carried out, other works to prepare Metro Tunnel for opening will be delivered as well with a $339 million funding allocation – including enabling works and the establishment of facilities to support Metro Tunnel network integration and operations.
$60 million has also been allocated through the 2023/24 Budget for works to run Next Generation Trams in Melbourne’s west on routes 57, 59 and 82 by 2025. This package of works include:
“We’re making critical public transport investments across our bus, tram and train networks, making services more reliable and more frequent for millions of Victorians every day and supporting thousands of local jobs,” Minister for Public Transport Ben Carroll said.
Further investments will also be made to keep Victoria moving. This includes:
More regional travel, more often, for less
The State Government is making regional fare prices cheaper with a $190 million investment to cap regional fares at metro prices.
The recently announced State Budget will also allocate $601 million to build another 23 new Victorian-made VLocity trains, which will help strengthen and boost the reliability of the regional network while also directly supporting about 100 local jobs as well as up to 500 manufacturing jobs.
In addition, $219 million is invested for service uplifts across the rail network, including extra weekend services on major regional train lines.
The 2023/24 State Budget will also deliver works that will improve reliability of the regional network, including:
Keeping Victoria moving
As part of the recent Budget, the State Government is investing $36 million to deliver more local bus services under Victoria’s Bus Plan. The Plan includes extending Route 433 in Maddingley, continued services in the communities of Casey and Wyndham as well as the beginning of transition to Zero Emission Buses (ZEBs) in new Metropolitan Bus Service Contracts from 2025.
An $11 million investment will also help strengthen the State’s public transport to support increasing demands for the Multi-Purpose Taxi Program (MPTP) and to continue the current MPTP lifting fee paid to drivers for wheelchais accessible vehicle trips.
Other funding investments that will safely transport goods and materials for Victoria’s infrastructure needs include:
Other initiatives to be funded through the 2023/24 Budget include $9.1 million to plan for future housing needs as well as to implement planning controls to protect 13 of Victoria’s waterways. A further $23.4 million will also be allocated to make planning rules stronger and simpler when delivering more housing that is more sustainable.
The State Government is also investing an additional $3.5 million to support the Victorian Planning Authority to unlock housing supply across Victoria as well as boost housing choice and affordability. On top of this, a $3.8 million investment will help protect the State’s heritage as part of UNESCO’s World Heritage list.
“We’re strengthening and simplifying building and planning rules to ensure Victorians have high-quality, comfortable and sustainable homes near family and friends in areas where they want to live,” Minister for Planning Sonya Kilkenny said.
Source: Premier of Victoria – Media Centre; Victorian Budget 23/24
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Formerly known as the PlantMiner blog, Felix Project News is Australia's top 10 Construction blog.
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