Premier media release 27 April 2016.
The Victorian Budget 2016/17 invests more than ever in the outer-suburbs: the services families need, the roads and public transport they rely on, and the quality schools and hospitals they deserve.
A $50 million investment in the Growing Suburbs Fund, formerly the Interface Growth Fund, underpins the Andrews Labor Government’s effort to get on with important infrastructure projects to cater for population growth – projects that outer-suburban councils have specifically identified as necessary for local communities to thrive.
The outer-northern suburbs of Melbourne are growing faster than almost any area in the country. But public transport services haven’t kept up with the growth, and locals are missing out.
The Budget provides $588 million to fully fund and deliver the Mernda Rail Project, to extend this line closer to thousands of Victorians who have been left ‘off the grid’.
The centrepiece public transport project in the Budget – a fully funded new Metro Tunnel – will also make the trains more reliable and frequent across every line by giving the Cranbourne, Pakenham and Sunbury lines their own tunnel through the CBD, as will the Government’s plan to remove 50 dangerous and congested level crossings across Melbourne.
Work will also start on some of the most important road projects in suburbs and cities across Victoria. The Budget provides $7 billion to duplicate Yan Yean Rd, upgrade Thompsons Rd, build the Western Distributor, upgrade the Monash Freeway, streamline Hoddle Street, and complete other projects to improve road safety and reduce congestion.
The Government is investing $924 million for new and upgraded school buildings, including $287 million for new schools and land acquisitions in growing areas, and $63.6 million for the provision of emergency relocatable classrooms to alleviate growth pressure in the short-term.
$20 million will go towards building and upgrading ambulance stations and $10 million will be provided to plan and build kinders in areas that are already at capacity.
Quotes Attributable to Premier Daniel Andrews
“Our state is strong, our population is growing, and that’s great for the economy. But for too long, people in the outer suburbs have borne the brunt of the pressure. That ends now.”
“We’re investing in new schools, new jobs, new projects and better health services for the outer suburbs, because no family should miss out.”
Quotes Attributable to the Treasurer Tim Pallas
“For people living in the outer suburbs, access to decent roads and public transport can mean the difference between hours stuck in the car or time spent with their family.”
“That’s why we’re upgrading outer-suburban roads and making the biggest investment in public transport in our state’s history.”