The Victorian Transport Association (VTA) has welcomed measures in the Victorian Budget unveiled by Treasurer Tim Pallas, which will improve the state’s road and rail infrastructure, address transport industry skills shortages and increase skills and training through licencing reform.
The key measures include:
- $780 million to fund maintenance of the state’s road network, including $101 million for regional roads and key freight routes.
- $383 million to operate new transport infrastructure delivered as part of the Big Build, including level crossing removals, rail extensions, train station upgrades and road and bridge upgrades.
- $263 million to deliver Victoria’s 2021-2030 Road Safety Strategy and the first three-year Road Safety Action Plan.
- $181 million to be invested in critical maintenance works on freight lines in regional Victoria to increase safety, reliability and improve rail freight logistics, as well as $3.5 million to continue the Mode Shift Incentive Scheme (MSIS) and $6.1 million in planning for the new Western Intermodal Freight Terminal at Truganina.
- $21.5 million to fund much-needed licencing reform.
VTA CEO, Peter Anderson, congratulated the Victorian Government for continuing to invest in new road and rail transport infrastructure, and for their steps to help increase the appeal of careers in the freight transport industry.
“The freight industry hasn’t stopped or missed a beat during the pandemic despite a shortage of workers that has added to supply chain pressures felt right throughout the economy,” he said.
“We applaud the Government for recognising and acting on the supply chain headwinds our industry is facing, particularly the need to reform our licencing system to be able to attract and retain new and highly skilled and qualified people to the industry.”
Anderson said the budget’s $21.5 million for licensing reform is an important component in making the transport industry a more attractive profession, which according to him, the state is leading in.
“Victoria is leading the nation with its licencing reforms, which is a credit to the Victorian Government’s recognition of just how important the transport industry is to the state economy,” he said.
“The budget contains a raft of measures to improve infrastructure, with all operators set to benefit through productivity and efficiency gains made possible by investments in new roads and rail and stronger bridges. We commend the Government for listening and acting on the needs of our industry.”