The Andrews Labor Government has fully funded the biggest road project ever built in Victoria as part of a Suburban Transport Blitz that will get Victorians home sooner.
The Victorian Budget 2019/20 delivers every single cent needed to build North East Link – the missing connection between the Eastern Freeway and the M80 Ring Road that has been talked about for decades but never delivered – until now.
On the first day after the 2018 election, the Labor Government put North East Link out to market – calling for expressions of interest from builders to widen the Eastern Freeway and construct a six-kilometre tunnel to give local roads back to local residents.
Since then, the Labor Government has been getting on with detailed planning and design, and today has delivered the $15.8 billion needed to get it done.
Planning approvals on the project are expected to be in place by the end of the year, with early works to start in early 2020.
North East Link will cut travel times by up to 35 minutes, take 15,000 trucks off local roads and create more than 10,000 jobs during construction. It will return $1.30 back to the Victorian economy for every dollar invested.
The project will also deliver major upgrades to the Eastern Freeway that will streamline traffic, reduce congestion and slash travel times, and the new Doncaster Busway will deliver 30 per cent travel-time savings for buses.
The landmark project is part of a $27.4 billion Suburban Transport Blitz unveiled in today’s Budget, with $6.6 billion to remove another 25 of our most dangerous and congested level crossings, and $3.4 billion to deliver massive upgrades to the Sunbury, Cranbourne and Hurstbridge lines.
The Blitz also includes $608 million to upgrade the local roads that drivers use every day, including $22.6 million to fix some of our busiest and most congested intersections – helping locals get home sooner.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Transport Infrastructure Jacinta Allan
“Just like the Metro Tunnel, we’re delivering every cent needed to build North East Link – to slash congestion, create jobs and get trucks of local streets.”
“People have talked about North East Link for decades, but no one has delivered the funding to get it built – until now.”
“Whether it’s fixing a pot hole at the end of your street or building North East Link – this Budget is delivering the big and small projects needed to get you where you need to go.”