A key infrastructure project confirmed in the federal budget includes a fast rail network between Melbourne and Geelong, with a flow on impact to surrounding suburbs if it rolls out as planned.
One of the infrastructure projects on the Morrison government’s agenda includes funding for a fast rail network between Geelong and Melbourne, which would connect the two areas over a distance of 70 kilometres.
The government previously announced its intentions for this spend, and confirmed funds will be allocated in the 2019/20 federal budget last night.
As per last night’s federal budget, the Morrison government is expected to spend $2 billion on the infrastructure project over the course of the next 20 years, along with increasing train patronage and easing congestion on the Princes Highway and West Gate Bridge.
“Central to our plan is a long-term fast-rail vision for Australia,” Treasuer Josh Frydernberg said in his speech as he announced the budget.
“To make this vision a reality, we are providing $2 billion in this Budget for fast-rail between Melbourne and Geelong, slashing travel times in half.”
According to government estimates, the completion of the rail network is expected to cut the over 70 kilometre journey down to 32 minutes.
The infrastructure spendage on the Geelong to Melbourne rail plan was first announced in a statement made on 22 March by Mr Morrison, minister for cities, urban infrastructure and population Alan Tudge, deputy Prime Minister and minister for infrastructure, transport and regional development Michael McCormack and Mr Frydenberg.
At the time of its announcement, the Prime Minister said that the rail network spending was part of the plan to manage population growth.
“This ... [will] take the pressure off our big cities like Melbourne and make our regional cities like Geelong even more attractive places to live and work,” the Prime Minister said.
“As our population grows, fast rail networks are crucial to easing the congestion pressures in our cities and shaping Australia’s future.”
The Treasurer also said previously that the project would “creating jobs, reducing congestion and unlocking the potential of our regions”.
“Investments like these can only be made because our plan for a stronger economy is working.”