Regional Victorian businesses are the big winners from a $1.42 billion funding boost to the regional rail network, following an agreement between the Federal and State Government to commit to the transport infrastructure package.
The Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry Chief Executive Mark Stone AM today said regional Victorians should celebrate the announcement, as the rail upgrade will be coupled with the Victorian Government’s committed $530.6 million upgrade to regional roads and bridges.
“Regional Victoria needs these upgrades to improve its connectivity and reduce travel times. We are delighted they will now go ahead following today’s announcements from the Federal and State Governments,” Mr Stone said.
“Victoria’s reputation as a great place to live and work can only continue if we invest in it. Major investments like the Regional Rail Revival focuses on regional Victoria and is committed to ensuring businesses in these regions have the best chance to grow and employ more people.
“As a result of the Regional Rail Revival package, regional Victoria will receive better train services, more than 1,000 jobs will be created, and both businesses and residents will benefit.”
The package includes the following major investment for regional Victoria:
- $516.6 million to go to the Ballarat Line Upgrade, with an extra $39 million for Stage 2.
- $435 million investment on the Gippsland line and $95 million to replace the Avon River Bridge.
- $110 million for the first stage of the new Surf Coast Rail Project.
- $114 million towards upgrades on the Warrnambool line and new VLocity trains on that line.
- $140 million for track, signalling and station improvements on the North East Line.
- $91 million for Bendigo and Echuca upgrades and delivery of Bendigo Metro Stage 2.
- $10 million to plan for an improved freight network in and around Shepparton.
- More than $20 million for the $440 million Murray Basin Rail Project.
“Regional Victorian businesses will experience significant benefits from these major investments, with increased productivity for many businesses which in turn boosts confidence to compete against interstate and global competitors,” Mr Stone said.
All media enquiries may be directed to the Media and Communications Manager.
For all other enquiries, please contact the Victorian Chamber on (03) 8662 5333.