The Victorian Coalition Government is prioritising work towards a new Melbourne Metro rail tunnel and the long-awaited East West road link to drive economic activity, productivity and jobs, Premier Ted Baillieu said today.
Mr Baillieu said the projects, which have the potential to transform Melbourne's transport network, were reliant on funding from the Commonwealth Government.
"This Budget sets out a clear plan to position Victoria to take full advantage of future opportunities," Mr Baillieu said.
"These are large projects of a complexity and size that hasn't been seen since the development of the City Loop, and the East-West Link is the largest project since CityLink was developed.
"This Budget is focused on securing the future and Melbourne cannot continue to thrive with the Monash-West Gate corridor as our only cross town connection.
"The Coalition Government has committed to investing in a record infrastructure spend in this Budget to deliver the infrastructure and quality transport links needed to support Melbourne's long-term future," Mr Baillieu said.
Roads and Public Transport Minister Terry Mulder said $15 million would be used to prepare a business case and commence planning work for the eastern section of the East West Link.
"The money set aside in this year's Budget will be used to help us understand how much the project will cost and how we can achieve the best result for the community," Mr Mulder said.
Preliminary work on the East-West Link is set to begin within weeks, with early geotechnical drilling, engineering and flora and fauna surveys to be undertaken along the corridor to obtain valuable information to help develop the project.
"We will work closely with the community to plan out a project that responds to local concerns and delivers the cross city alternative to alleviate congestion and ensure travel time reliability for families and freight," said Mr Mulder.
Mr Mulder said this year's Budget also allocated $49.7 million to the Melbourne Metro project to protect the corridor for the proposed nine-kilometre rail tunnel and five new underground stations.
"Melbourne Metro will strengthen and expand the inner core of the rail network and provide extra capacity to increase services and improve public transport across Melbourne," Mr Mulder said.
"The Coalition Government is pushing ahead to obtain planning approvals to protect the corridor so the project can proceed quickly when it receives Commonwealth funding," Mr Mulder said.
Mr Mulder said the Melbourne Metro project was a key part of the Coalition Government's strategy to untangle the rail network and unlock capacity.
"Melbourne Metro, along with projects such as the ongoing work on the Regional Rail Link and Lara to Avalon Airport link as well as proposed new rail links to Rowville, Doncaster and Melbourne Airport are all important to continuing to expand Victoria's rail network well into the 21st century," Mr Mulder said.