Federal Budget 2018-2019 offers Victorians $7.8 billion toward vital funding for infrastructure projects for the future – something which has been previously lacking in Victoria. The critical point going forward will be on when this funding is delivered.
“The commitment by the Federal Government to key projects such as Melbourne Airport Rail link and North-East link are great news for Victorians. These projects have been in RACV’s top priority list for years, and it is great to see funding commitments to help make them happen”, said RACV’s General Manager of Public Policy and Corporate Affairs, Bryce Prosser.
Key rail projects are also in the mix, including electrifying the Frankston line to Baxter, Geelong regional rail duplication between South Geelong and Waurn Ponds – crucial for this growing area – as well as $475 million for planning of a Monash rail link.
“A Monash rail link received the highest number of votes in RACV’s recent Growing Pains report, and with the state government also announcing funding for a light-rail option, the Federal Government now needs to work with the State Government to deliver a good public transport connection for the Chadstone-Monash-Rowville areas”, Mr Prosser said
Regional road users also benefit from upgrades to the Princes Highway – both east and west.
“The end is in sight with the planned completion of the duplication of the Princes Highway East. Locals and tourists have endured years of delays in never-ending roadworks. RACV’s Australian Road Assessment Program had found that the final stages between Traralgon and Sale were at a 2 and 3-star standard. Completing the duplication should provide a much safer 3 or 4-star road like those elsewhere on Victoria’s regional highway network”, Mr Prosser said.
RACV is also pleased to see new, innovative measures to assist senior Australians remain in their homes longer and receive additional support to ensure these people enjoy a higher quality of life. It is also good to see acknowledgement of the difficulties involved in navigating the aged care system, with $60 million dedicated to making the MyAged Care website more accessible.
“RACV is pleased to see a focus on enabling older Australians to remain in their homes longer”, said Mr Prosser.
Overall, the Federal Budget is good news for Victorians, and finally delivers on much-needed projects for our state. The key now is for both levels of government to constructively work together to ensure these projects are delivered well and without delay.
“We don’t want more divisive politics, with the State and Federal Government unable to agree and proposing different projects, such as light and heavy rail, or East West Link vs North East Link. Victorians want our governments to work together to deliver the best projects for Victoria which cater to the needs of our growing population”, Mr Prosser said.