Helping Families Get Home Sooner, And Get A Home Sooner

07 May 2024

The Allan Labor Government is preparing to open two of our most significant Big Build projects: helping prevent future gridlock, slashing travel times and getting people home sooner and safer – while also building thousands more homes in suburbs and towns across Victoria.

The Metro Tunnel will open a year ahead of schedule in 2025: the biggest and most transformational public transport project since the City Loop opened more than 40 years ago.

The Victorian Budget 2024/25 delivers the investment to take this massive project from construction to reality, with test trains successfully running through the tunnels, paving the way for future turn-up-and-go train services.

We’re investing $233.4 million to complete the integration of the new tunnel into Victoria’s transport network and prepare the staff, systems, infrastructure and customer information for services to start.

We’re also opening the West Gate Tunnel in 2025 – which will slash travel times, take thousands of trucks off local roads, and get families in Melbourne’s west home sooner and safer.

New lanes are already open on the West Gate Freeway, tunnelling is complete and the tunnel fitout continues as the project tracks towards completion. This Budget delivers $10.2 million for new camera technology to enforce our legislated 24/7 truck bans on roads in the inner west – taking 9,000 trucks off local roads.

We’re also continuing our work to build better and safer roads, with $208 million for road upgrades across our suburbs and regional communities – connecting Victorians to work, education, family and friends.

What were previously once-in-a-generation flood events are now commonplace, inflicting unprecedented damage on our roads – so we're now delivering road maintenance as part of a 10-year investment, allowing us to plan long term to make regional roads more resilient.

As part of this 10-year $6.6 billion investment, $964 million will maintain our state's road network this coming year alone – including extra funding to clean up the damage from flooding.

In every corner of the state, our Big Build investments are continuing to deliver crucial road and public transport connections, creating thousands of great local jobs and supporting our economy to grow.

Every life lost on our roads is one too many, but 2023 was a particularly devastating year – so this year’s Budget will also help us take every possible step to reduce road trauma and keep Victorians safer.

We’re continuing at pace on our work to remove 110 dangerous and congested level crossings by 2030, upgrading every regional rail line, preparing for tunnelling to begin on the North East Link later this year and on the Suburban Rail Loop in 2026 – making sure our state can support a population of 10 million by the 2050s.

Transforming our transport network is about more than just cars, trains, trams and buses – that’s why more than $25 million will deliver more paths, crossings, safer bike routes and walking options, as well as local road upgrades to keep pedestrians and cyclists safer.

As part of the landmark Housing Statement, we’re making good planning decisions faster and creating the conditions needed for 800,000 new homes to be built over the next decade, in places that are close to jobs, education and great transport.

We’re ensuring families can build, renovate or buy a home with confidence, with a $63 million building reform package to deliver stronger oversight to make sure you get what you pay for – an affordable, safe and quality home.

This package will also strengthen the Victorian Building Authority (VBA) to deliver a regulator that Victorians can trust – boosting the VBA’s inspectors and auditors by 50 per cent, as well as improved technology and intelligence to better protect consumers, with improved access to Domestic Builders Insurance.

Melbourne is the fastest growing city in Australia, with many of the fastest growing suburbs. On top of record transport investments, we recently announced a $400 million investment for public transport services and critical community infrastructure such as parks, playgrounds, schools and transport facilities in growth areas.

We’re also laying the groundwork for vital infrastructure in some of our fastest growing communities. Our new P‑9 and Specialist schools in the growing suburb of Point Cook are now a step closer, with a $20 million investment in roads and critical infrastructure like utilities and drainage as part of developing the East Werribee Precinct.

As we create the conditions needed for 800,000 new homes to be built over the next decade, we’re also making sure families have access to cheaper and cleaner energy.

We’re getting on with accelerating planning decisions for renewable energy projects – providing investment certainty for industry and ensuring projects that bring energy prices down for Victorian families are built faster.

We'll invest $17.5 million to accelerate the renewable energy transition with earlier biodiversity assessments and better planning processes for new projects.

While we deliver the new transport infrastructure our growing state needs, we’re also investing $133 million in critical public transport upgrades and maintenance across regional Victoria – including upgrading the historic rail tunnel between Geelong and South Geelong, bringing it up to modern standards.

We’ll also invest $213.7 million to maintain and modernise communication systems across our metropolitan train fleets, keeping public transport reliable and reducing the risk of major disruptions.

We’ll continue to support our regional producers and operators to use our rail freight network, curbing emissions in the transport sector with $104 million for rail freight maintenance and upgrades, and support for moving our state’s agricultural exports on rail.

This builds on the $181 million investment in the Victorian Budget 2022/23 that saw an extra 500,000 tonnes of grain transported by rail in 2023 alone, reducing reliance on our roads.

The Budget will also build on the Allan Labor Government’s historic $150 million investment in ports and jetties since 2018 – with $4.5 million to deliver important works to the Lakes Entrance Training Walls, which provide vital access and safe navigation for offshore fishing fleets, commercial operators and recreational boats.

This is a Budget that helps turn on some of our biggest projects, while delivering the local upgrades and improvements that communities need – because this is a Budget that’s helping families.

Quote attributable to Minister for Transport Infrastructure and Suburban Rail Loop Danny Pearson

“We’re helping families by building the road and rail Victoria needs to support our population growth. That includes getting ready for the Metro Tunnel and West Gate Tunnel to open in 2025 – delivering travel savings for millions of Victorian families.”

Quote attributable to Minister for Roads and Road Safety and Ports and Freight Melissa Horne

“We’re facing a significant and complex repair program after some of the worst floods in our state’s history – that’s why we’re investing in a long-term, data-driven plan to make our roads more resilient to extreme weather.”

Quote attributable to Minister for Public and Active Transport Gabrielle Williams

“We’ve delivered massive cost savings through the regional fare cap and added thousands of extra public transport services across the state – now we’re preparing for the Metro Tunnel opening a year ahead of schedule in 2025. This will change our public transport network for the better, while continuing to invest in local public and active transport projects and services Victorians deserve.”

Quote attributable to Minister for Planning and Suburbs Sonya Kilkenny

“We’re helping families by creating the conditions needed for 800,000 new quality homes to be built over the next decade — and because we want them to be great homes, we’re strengthening our building system and giving families confidence.”

Quote attributable to Minister for Precincts and Development Victoria Colin Brooks

“We need new homes in the right places, and that’s why we’ll partner with the private sector, industry and investors to build more homes in our wonderful education and employment precincts that are well-serviced by public transport.”

Reviewed 07 May 2024

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