A focus on road and rail infrastructure is one of the key measures for the 2014/15 Victoria state budget, which schedules funding for transport at $24 billion.
Premier Dennis Napthine said transport spending would create “tens of thousands” of jobs, and that four key projects would contribute to economic growth for the state.
Melbourne’s East West Link will get $8-10 billion in finding, while $850 million will be spent on widening the CityLink-Tullamarine Freeway, aimed at cutting travel time to Melbourne Airport by up to 16 minutes.
Rail projects include the $8.5-$11 billion Melbourne Rail Link, which includes a line to Melbourne Airport and a 30 percent boost to rail capacity, while a further $2-$2.5 billion is set aside for the Cranbourne-Pakenham rail corridor project.
“Projects like Melbourne Rail Link and the East West Link are generational projects that will transform how people travel and enable goods to be moved more efficiently,” Dr Napthine said.
“We are delivering this infrastructure program to keep pace with population growth, generate jobs and cater to growing freight demands. This is how we are building a better Victoria.”
Outside of Melbourne, $467.9 million will be spent on the Princes Highway along with Sand, Pioneer and Great Ocean Road upgrades, while $86 million will fund the removal of the Ravenswood interchange on the Calder Highway.
It isn’t all good news for motorists in Victoria, with vehicle registration charges set to increase for the second time in three years.
From July 1, an average light vehicle (less than 4.5 tonnes) in Victoria will now cost $744.50 to register for 12 months once all fees and taxes have been included, while stamp duty on vehicle purchases will rise from 3.0 to 3.2 percent.