Treasurer and Premier media release 5 May 2015.
The Andrews Labor Government is building the projects our state needs to get people home to their families safer and sooner, and keep Victoria number one for new visitors.
The 2015-16 Victorian Budget commits up to $22 billion in infrastructure, eclipsing the $2.7 billion spend in the previous Government’s first year in 2011-12.
It includes a record investment in public transport – a 41 per cent increase from 2014-15 – because we’re getting on with the projects that will reduce congestion on busy roads, transform public transport and improve safety.
The Budget commits up to $6 billion – including up to $2.4 billion over four years – to deliver a project that will remove 50 of our most dangerous and congested level crossings.
Removing level crossings reduces congestion, helps reduce the road toll and allows more trains to run on every line. The project will grow our economy, save tradespeople money and time and create 4500 jobs.
The Labor Government will also improve safety at 52 high-risk country level crossings and 25 high-risk pedestrian crossings, because the road toll touches our whole state.
The Budget commits up to $11 billion to deliver the Melbourne Metro Rail Project, including $1.5 billion over four years to complete the planning, design and early works and commence construction by 2018.
Building Melbourne Metro Rail will bring our sluggish and crowded train system into the new era, relieving train congestion in the City Loop, creating space across the network to run more trains and carry 20,000 extra passengers in peak times.
It’s the biggest overhaul to the train system since the construction of the City Loop, and it will lay the foundation for a network that’s so efficient, with services so frequent and reliable, that timetables become redundant.
Melbourne Metro Rail is also the first step to expanding the network in the future. That’s why the Budget also provides $9 million to develop and plan the Mernda Rail Link, in Melbourne’s fast-growing outer north.
The Budget invests $50 million to trial all-night public transport on weekends, to help shift workers and revellers get home safe, and $13 million for the new Frankston Station precinct.
The Labor Government is investing in new trains and trams to cater for more passengers and support local jobs. Public transport patronage is growing and Victoria’s train and tram fleet is ageing.
The Budget provides more than $600 million to build 20 new E-Class trams, 21 new VLocity train carriages and refurbish the Comeng train fleet and B-Class trams, with 50 per cent local content in all new orders.
Melbourne’s busiest train line will be transformed. Every level crossing between Caulfield and Dandenong will be removed and 37 new high-capacity trains will boost passenger capacity by 42 per cent.
The Budget also provides $100 million to improve bus services by introducing new and expanded routes in growth areas, and includes $15 million for smarter integration of the bus and rail network – services that make sense.
To help people spend less time on busy roads and more time with their families, the Labor Government is investing over $600 million on projects to reduce congestion and travel times.
The Budget provides $273 million towards a project to widen CityLink and the Tullamarine Freeway, from the Burnley Tunnel to the Melbourne Airport, saving businesses thousands of hours a month.
The Budget also provides $110 million to duplicate the Chandler Highway Bridge over the Yarra River. In 2014, the bridge was rated Melbourne’s number one congestion point in the RACV’s Redspot Survey.
The Western Ring Road is at breaking point. The Budget provides $150 million to undertake the next stage of the M80 upgrade, to widen the road and improve traffic management from Sunshine Ave to the EJ Whitten Bridge.
The Budget also invests $86.7 million to resurface unsafe, deteriorating road surfaces around the state, plus $90 million in a range of road upgrades including deployment of intelligent transport systems that will make a big difference to congestion in suburban and regional areas.
To allow heavier freight loads, the Budget provides $76 million to strengthen bridges on key freight routes, on top of $30 million already fast tracked to complete Stage 1 of the Murray Basin Rail Project.
The Budget also provides $80 million to establish and operate the world’s first dedicated road safety education complex and $24.4 million for free defensive driving courses for Year 10 students.
Victoria is the creative capital, home to arts, music, culture, sport, blockbuster major events and the world’s most liveable and multicultural city. That’s what sets us apart and makes us the number one state for new visitors.
The Budget will help keep Victoria number one, investing an additional $80 million to sponsor major events across Victoria, attracting more visitors and growing our tourism industry.
To boost Victoria’s reputation as a world-leading destination for business and industry tourism, the Budget also invests funding to undertake the Stage 2 development of the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre.
Victoria’s arts, culture, screen, music and design sectors make up our creative industries, support thousands of jobs. The Budget invests over $200 million to help these sectors create more jobs and attract more visitors.
The funding will expand regional and independent arts and boost the Victorian contemporary music industry. $13.4 million will also be provided to save the crumbling Palais Theatre so live performances can continue.
$55.4 million will be invested in an $83.1 million project to redevelop the State Library, increasing public access by 40 per cent and broadcasting its resources into the family home.
Victoria is the sporting capital of the world, and the Labor Government will upgrade stadiums across the state so they can host more events, make room for more spectators and join the MCG in the league of great arenas.
The Budget invests $70 million to build a new grandstand at Geelong’s Simonds Stadium, increasing ground capacity to 36,000, and $25 million to redevelop historic Junction Oval and build a home for Victorian cricket.
Because community sport brings the family and the neighbourhood together, $100 million will be invested to upgrade tired grounds and dilapidated facilities at local clubs, and $9.6 million to build 64 new netball courts.
The Budget invests $174 million to help our state lead the nation on climate change, preserve our pristine natural environment and encourage more families to get outdoors and see our greatest natural assets.
Our greatest human asset is our diversity. The Budget invests $37.9 million in community initiatives to strengthen multiculturalism and $11.1 million to support our state’s bustling cultural precincts.
Quotes attributable to Premier of Victoria, Daniel Andrews
“It’s not road versus rail – we’re investing in both roads and rail to reduce congestion and get our state moving.”
“It’s a record investment in public transport – up to $22 billion to build new trains and trams, remove our worst level crossings and undertake the biggest overhaul to the train system since the construction of the City Loop.”
Quotes attributable to Treasurer of Victoria, Tim Pallas
“We’re widening and duplicating some of the state’s busiest roads, to help families save those crucial extra minutes every evening and help businesses save thousands of hours every month.”
“Major events, arts and culture, sport – these are the things that give Victoria the edge and get more tourists through the door. This Budget is our blueprint to keep Victoria number one.”