03 May 2016
Victoria’s leading transport advocate RACV says the Federal Budget has delivered on promised road and public transport infrastructure funding but has failed to set out any long term agenda for an integrated transport plan.
RACV General Manager Public Policy, Brian Negus said RACV was pleased to see a number of big ticket projects get the green light, including the $857 million allocated for the Melbourne Metro Rail Tunnel.
“The construction of the Melbourne Metro Rail tunnel is good news for Melbournians and it will provide much needed increased train services across the city.
“The Monash Freeway upgrade at $500 million, including the implementation of a smart technology motorway management system is also great news for communities in the south east of Melbourne and will go a long way to easing the crippling congestion many people experience in their everyday travels.
“The widening of the Monash from west of East Link to the shire of Cardinia will also greatly relieve daily congestion on the Monash Freeway and Pakenham bypass,” Mr Negus said.
He said the reinstatement of the $350m to upgrade the M80 Western Ring Road was long overdue and will reduce congestion and provide critical relief for the significant volumes of truck traffic using the Ring Road to access the Port of Melbourne.
“The St Albans rail crossing has long been a critical safety issue in Melbourne’s west and the allocation of $60.9 million to complete removal of the level crossing and the construction of a new rail and bus interchange is most welcome,” he said.
Mr Negus said RACV was pleased to see investment in rural roads as we have long called for the continuation of regional highway upgrading projects to improve safety and travel conditions for regional Victorians.
“The $345 million allocations to the Western Highway, Princes Highway East and Princes Highway West will be warmly welcomed by RACV members and all people living and working in regional Victoria.
“The Murray Basin Rail project, providing improved freight access to Mildura with an allocation of $240 million will enable improved access for agricultural industries in this critical part of our state.
Mr Negus said the Budget did miss the mark on a very significant key project for Melbourne.
“We are extremely disappointed that the Federal Government has not recognised the need for completion of the Metropolitan Ring Road (missing link) from Greensborough to Ringwood.
“This is a missed opportunity to reduce the crippling congestion across Melbourne’s north east and improve freight productivity given the huge volume of trucks travelling through this part of the city.
“Another significant omission from tonight’s Budget is the missed opportunity to establish an independent inquiry into motoring taxation and transport market reform to establish a sound base for future infrastructure funding to secure our future economy,” Mr Negus said.