Passenger and freight rail services on the Shepparton line will improve, and almost 1000 jobs will be created, thanks to $320 million of Federal Government funding for the stage three upgrade of the important transport line.

Federal Member for Nicholls, Damian Drum, said the Federal Government’s $320 million investment – which forms part of a $1.1 billion transport infrastructure blitz in Victoria – would have significant benefits for the region.

These benefits include the creation of 990 jobs (based on Federal Government estimates), improved passenger and freight rail services, and improved connectivity between people with jobs and services, and goods with markets.

“Funding the third stage of the Shepparton rail line upgrade will ensure people in our community get home sooner and safer, while also delivering more jobs locally,” Mr Drum said.

“In addition to this $320 million investment, the Federal Government is investing $7.5 million for the delivery of a business case for improved rail services from northern Victoria into Melbourne’s CBD.

“Today’s announcements are another crucial step the Federal Government is taking in mapping out our Victoria’s economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The Victorian Government will contribute $7.5 million for the business case (scheduled to begin in mid-2021 and finished by mid-2023) and $80 million for the stage three upgrade (scheduled to begin in early-2021 and finished by late-2023).

This latest Federal Government funding injection (see below for full list) builds on a series of state-wide infrastructure investments from the Commonwealth in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, which now totals nearly $1.6 billion.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said tomorrow’s Federal Budget would deliver infrastructure funding that supported the Government’s JobMaker plan and helped Victoria’s economic recovery from COVID-19.

“We have been working closely with state and territory governments to invest in the infrastructure that is ready to go and can help rebuild our economy and create more jobs,” Mr Morrison said.

“These projects will keep commuters safe on the road, get people home to their loved ones sooner, and provide better public transport links for urban and regional communities.

“This latest investment will provide another boost to the Victorian economy and is part of our plan to support an estimated 3850 direct and indirect jobs across the state.”

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development, Michael McCormack, said the benefits of the infrastructure spend went beyond the projects.

“Infrastructure means jobs, it means livelihoods, it means stronger local communities and it means building a better and more secure future for our nation,” Mr McCormack said.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said the Federal Government was focused on delivering priorities and boosting local jobs as part of Australia’s road to recovery.

“Infrastructure helps to create jobs and to get people where they want to go sooner and safer, and unlocks the potential of our regions,” Mr Frydenberg said.

Minister for Population, Cities and Urban Infrastructure, Alan Tudge, said the Federal Government’s infrastructure package for Victoria would help the state economy claw its way back and provide certainty for business over the long term.

“This Government recognises the pain many Victorians are going through, and we know that jobs and economic stimulus through targeted infrastructure are what is needed right now,” Mr Tudge said.

Since being elected in 2013 the Liberal and Nationals Government has committed more than $31.5 billion for infrastructure in Victoria.

VICTORIA: 2020/21 BUDGET PROJECTS

New projects

Project Federal Funding Total Cost
Arthurs Seat pedestrian improvements $0.3 million $0.3 million
Barwon Heads Rd upgrade $292 million $365 million
Hall Rd upgrade $84.5 million $169 million
Improving connectivity to Port of Melbourne – business case $7.5 million $15 million
Improving passenger rail services from northern Victoria to Melbourne – business case $7.5 million $15 million
Narre Warren North Rd upgrade $31 million $62 million
Shepparton Rail Line upgrade – Stage 3 $320 million $400 million
South Rd upgrade $22.5 million $45 million
Warrnambool Rail Line upgrade – Stage 2 $208 million $260 million
Western Port Hwy upgrade $27.2 million $54.3 million
Western Rail Plan – further planning $30 million $60 million
Subtotal $1030.5 million $1445.6 million

 

Additional funding

Project Additional Federal Funding Total Federal Funding
Bonang Rd Upgrade, Bonang $7 million $9 million
McKoy St – Hume Fwy intersection upgrade $104 million $168 million
Subtotal $111 million $177 million

 

Total new funding $1141.5 million

 

ENDS

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