The 2014 / 2015 Victorian State Budget, 'Building a Better Victoria' was announced in parliament yesterday afternoon by the Treasurer, the Hon Michael O'Brien MP. The overview can be found here.

Here we provide a summary of the Government's commitments and budget initiatives relating to infrastructure across the State.

  • Infrastructure investment of up to $27 billion with $24 billion in major new rail and road projects
  • Takes the total value of State-wide public infrastructure projects underway, including public private partnerships, to $72 billion
  • Transformational infrastructure to drive economic growth and connect Melbourne to the regions and export markets (such as support for a Port-Rail Shuttle (Metropolitan Intermodal System))
  • Support for development of Port of Hastings as Melbourne's second major port
  • The investment will be funded by:
    • "asset recycling" the proceeds of a medium term lease of the Port of Melbourne
    • the sale of the Rural Finance Corporation
    • Commonwealth infrastructure funding as part of the asset recycling initiative agreed at the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) meeting on 2 May 2014
    • funding from private sources.

Key Integrated Transport Infrastructure projects

Road and rail infrastructure projects have a significant focus in the budget with Melbourne Rail Link and Stage 2 of East West Link being the two biggest asset projects.

Melbourne Rail Link - $8.5 to $11 billion for the construction of:

  • A new underground tunnel from Southern Cross to South Yarra via Fisherman's Bend:
    • three new stations - two underground stations at Montague (Fisherman's Bend) and Domain and one station above ground at Melbourne Airport
    • new underground platforms at Southern Cross Station and South Yarra to facilitate interchange between services
  • The Airport Rail Link train service:
    • New electrified service between Melbourne Airport and CBD
    • Will run along dedicated tracks from a new station at Melbourne Airport to Albion in Melbourne's west where it will join the existing rail network and run through to Southern Cross Station.
  • The project is scheduled to begin mid-2016 with construction mid-2017. Once complete, Melbourne's metropolitan rail network will be made up of six standalone end to end lines.

East West Link (Stage 2) - $8 to $10 billion for the construction of Stage 2 (Western Section):

  • Will deliver a 12 kilometre connection from the East West Link – Eastern Section to the Western Ring Road
  • Construction from late 2015

Cranbourne-Pakenham Rail Corridor Project – $2 to $2.5 billion for:

  • 25 next generation, high capacity trains
  • 21st century high-capacity signalling
  • Four level crossings removed (Murrumbeena (Murrumbeena Road), Carnegie (Koornang Road), Clayton (Clayton Road & Centre Road)
  • Planning for removal of further five (Corrigan, Heatherton and Chandler Roads, Noble Park, Carnegie, Murrumbeena and Carnegie (Grange Road)
  • Redevelopment of Clayton, Carnegie and Murrumbeena stations for this growth corridor and a new train depot
  • Construction from early 2015

Citylink – Tulla widening – $850 million will be invested in partnership with private sector to:

  • Add an extra lane on Citylink in each direction between the Bolte Bridge and the Tullamarine Freeway just north of English Street in Essendon Fields
  • An additional lane on a section of the Westgate Freeway (eastbound) between the Bolte Bridge and Power Street
  • Construction from early 2015

Removal of railway crossings – over $1 billion for:

  • Removal of a further four level crossings at Ormond, Blackburn, Glen Iris, St Albans ($685 million)
  • Part of the Cranbourne-Pakenham Rail Corridor Project removal of crossings (refer above)

Regional infrastructure projects

  • $180 to $220 million for the Murray Basin Rail Project:
    • major country rail freight upgrades and standardize the key Mildura to Geelong rail link
  • $362 million for the Princes Highway West Duplication Project
  • $73 million to upgrade the Latrobe Regional Hospital
  • $500 million package of works to construct new schools in growth areas and modernise school infrastructure and secure land to build schools for the future
  • $73 million to construct and maintain new Shepparton Law Courts
  • $15 million Bendigo Aquatic Centre
  • $86 million – new intersection on the Calder Highway at Ravenswood near Bendigo

Education infrastructure

  • $500 million for:
    • new schools in growth communities
    • upgrades for existing schools
    • land acquisitions to meet demand in growth corridors (12 new schools to be delivered including 11 through public private partnerships)
  • The Government is exploring opportunities for non-government education providers to express interest in purchasing and using vacated educational sites (200 sites).

Health infrastructure

  • $223 million will be invested in new capital projects
  • $73 million to increase capacity at the Latrobe Regional Hospital
  • $14 million for the Boort Hospital redevelopment
  • $28 million for new Barwon Health – North facility
  • $60 million to replace and improve medical equipment and State-wide infrastructure
  • $25 million to establish the headquarters of the National Disability Insurance Agency in Geelong

Social infrastructure

  • $140.8 million for additional prison beds at various locations (including upgrades to the Dame Phyllis Frost Centre, Beechworth Correctional Centre and Langi Kal Kal Prison)
  • $12 million to relocate the Victorian Police mounted Branch from South Melbourne to redeveloped stables at Attwood
  • $8 million to build new police station and emergency hub in Ballarat West growth area
  • $12.7 million to build a new 24-hour police station in Echuca
  • $4.8 million to relocate St Kilda Road Police Station

Arts, Culture, Sports and events

  • $366 million for stage two of the Melbourne Park redevelopment including pedestrian bridge over Batman Avenue
  • $16.4 million building upgrade to Art Centre Melbourne and National Gallery

Other initiatives

  • $130 million for additional road funding for road maintenance and restoration $50 million for transport solutions (Regional Roads Package)
  • $32 million for the Sand Road interchange, Princes Highway East
  • $11 million for the Princes Highway East passing lanes (Hospital Creek, Dinner Creek and Wombat Creek)
  • $44 million to upgrade fire and emergency equipment in the City Loop

Planning and environment

  • $51.6 million over four years to the Metropolitan Planning Authority to implement Plan Melbourne
  • Funded by a new metropolitan planning levy on planning permit application fees for projects worth more than $1 million
  • Funding for works to commence on:
    • Major employment clusters at Monash, Latrobe and Sunshine
    • Fisherman's Bend urban renewal
    • Framework for expanding the central city
    • A metropolitan-wide open space strategy
  • Planning for urban renewal areas at Cremorne, Colingwood and along railway corridors from Huntingdale to Dandenong, Brunswick to Batman, and North Richmond to Victoria Park
  • $11.2 million over four years for supporting local government in delivering major urban renewal sites, a local pocket park fund and a 20-minute neighbourhood fund.
  • $13.4 million to boost national park assets

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