Covid recovery budget unprecedented: VTA

The Victorian budget announced this week to kickstart the state’s beleaguered economy has found support from the Victorian Transport Association (VTA).

In a statement issued today, the VTA backed what it called an “unprecedented” Victorian budget as the state recovers from crippling measures used to combat the Covid-19 pandemic.

Freight operators are likely to see improved productivity from the latest round of infrastructure works across the transport networks designed to ease road congestion throughout Melbourne and across the state.

A total of $1.6 billion in road network and infrastructure initiatives, including $2.5 million in the ‘Summer Streets’ program to provide traffic management during Covid safe outdoor events have been announced in addition to a $117 million package of road and intersection upgrades across Melbourne and $411 million to resurface, rebuild and maintain 1700 kilometres of roads

A total of $2.2 billion will be spent on the Suburban Rail Loop, $2 billion on Geelong fast rail and $660 million for the next stages of upgrades on the Shepparton and Warrnambool line.

The Victorian Government will also spend $276.5 million on the Dandenong corridor to allow for faster high-capacity metro trains to run and $5.5 million on track works around Caulfield station to enable the separation of the Frankston and Dandenong lines

As announced on the weekend, Melbourne will finally get an airport rail connection with the Commonwealth and Victorian Government each contributing $5 billion towards a project that will dramatically ease pressure on road networks in the north and northwest of the city.

A Building Works Package will also provide $359 million for maintenance and repairs for transport infrastructure including resurfacing roads, maintaining rail and upgrading jetties and piers, with $20 million to upgrade key freight routes and support agricultural supply chains.

“After a horror year, significant action was required to spur economic growth, recover jobs and restore Victorians’ confidence in our state,” said VTA CEO Peter Anderson.

“The government is to be commended for initiating projects that will ease congestion on our transport networks, which will support freight and logistics operators in their ongoing quest to improve productivity and the service they provide their customers and Victorian consumers.”