$1 billion road boost for Victorian economy

A federal and state infrastructure package will boost the Victorian economy with more than $1 billion in project funding aimed at busting congestion and increasing road safety.

The package includes the Federal Government bringing forward $262 million for early works on the North East Link and more than $184 million in additional funding for the Monash Freeway Stage 2 project which commences next year.

When combined with funding from the State Government, it locks in a further billion dollar spend on infrastructure for Victoria over the next four years on top of the billions already being spent by both governments across roads and rail.

The Morrison Government has been working with states and territories to bring forward critical road projects across Australia to drive jobs, strengthen the economy and get people home sooner and safer.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said delivering critical road projects sooner, as part of the Government’s $100 billion pipeline, was responsible and considered economic management.

“We’ve been working closely with the Victorian Government to identify the projects that are shovel-ready to get them moving,” the Prime Minister said.

“We want these road and rail projects delivered as quickly as possible so Victorians can benefit from better infrastructure and the jobs and investment that come with it.

“We will bring forward $269 million in federal funding for existing projects on top of the $184 million we committed to Stage 2 of the Monash Freeway upgrade back in September.”

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews welcomed the deal, which fast-tracks spending on road projects across the state.

“I’m pleased to have struck this significant agreement, which will help us deliver the vital second stage of the Monash Freeway Upgrade,” Premier Andrews said.

“We’ll continue working closely with the Federal Government to deliver the major projects our state needs and help create Victorian jobs.”

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the Australian Government was investing heavily in key roads in regional Victoria that are vital to safety and supporting the economy through improved connectivity to the regions and to our markets.

“The Government recognises the need for these key rural roads to receive the upgrades they need to be safer, more efficient transport corridors as soon as possible,” the Deputy Prime Minister said.

“This package includes additional funding for regional projects including, $32.6 million for the South Gippsland Highway realignment between Koonwarra and Meeniyan and $28.7 million for the Echuca-Moama Bridge.

“Upgrading these highways will improve safety and travel times on some of Victoria’s busiest freight and passenger road corridors.”

Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said the investments would flow within months.

“There’s $370 million of the new package that will be spent in just the next 18 months to get these projects done,” the Treasurer said.

“By bringing forward funding for these important road projects we will drive jobs, boost the economy and make Victorian roads and highways safer, while reducing travel times so people can be with their families instead of being stuck in traffic.”

Federal Minister for Population, Cities and Urban Infrastructure Alan Tudge said the new package followed a significant funding boost for Victorian infrastructure at the most recent Budget.

“Since coming to Government we have committed more than $29.1 billion towards infrastructure in Victoria, including $6 billion committed in the 2019–20 Budget and the 2019 Federal Election with more than $1.4 billion in targeted local projects to be delivered under the Urban Congestion Fund,” Minister Tudge said.

Victorian Minister for Transport Infrastructure Jacinta Allan said today’s announcement built on the Andrews Government’s record investment in major transport infrastructure.

“This funding builds on the more than $70 billion we’ve invested in Victoria’s transport network, to boost services, reduce congestion and get people home quicker, every day.”

Project funding brought forward:

  • $262 million for early works on the North East Link
    • Funding to flow immediately over the forward estimates in support of the $15.8 billion project.
    • The Australian Government contribution to the project is $1.75 billion ($262 million brought forward).
    • The Victorian Government is providing the remaining contributions to the project.
  • $7.1 million for Commuter Car Park Upgrades Northern Lines at Craigieburn and Hurstbridge
    • Funding to flow immediately this financial year to enable the commencement of works.
    • Australian Government contribution to Commuter Car Parks projects on these lines is $70 million ($7.1 million brought forward).

Additional funding:

  • $183.8 million for Stage 2 of the Monash Freeway Upgrade
    • Funding to flow immediately and enable construction to commence in January 2020.
    • Total cost of both stages of the Monash Freeway Upgrade has increased from $1 billion to $1.37 billion.
    • The Australian Government contribution to the project is $683.8 million.
    • The Victorian Government contribution to the project is $683.8 million.
  • $32.6 million for the South Gippsland Highway realignment between Koonwarra and Meeniyan
    • Funding to flow immediately to enable construction to commence early next year with the Victorian Government also providing additional funding of $32.6 million.
    • Total cost of the project has increased from $50 million to $115.2 million.
    • The Australian Government contribution to the project is $57.6 million.
    • The Victorian Government contribution to the project is $57.6 million.
  • $28.7 million for the Echuca-Moama Bridge
    • Funding to flow immediately to enable completion in mid-2021 with the Victorian Government providing additional funding of $15 million.
    • Total cost of the project has increased from $280 million to $323.7 million.
    • The Australian Government contribution to the project is $125.7 million.
    • The Victorian Government contribution to the project is $111 million.
    • The New South Wales Government is also contributing $87 million towards this project.