Melbourne's Infrastructure Priorities

On Monday, the Premier released information detailing the Coalition Government's priorities for infrastructure in Victoria.  The Government promotes its $5.8 billion in spending for infrastructure, but what are we going to get for our dollars?

State Government is pushing for Commonwealth support for several projects:

  • East West Link - freeway connecting the Eastern Freeway to CityLink, Port of Melbourne and the Ring Road.
  • Melbourne Metro - 9km underground rail tunnel between South Kensington and South Yarra
  • Port of Hastings - new facilities for an international container port
  • Dandenong Rail Capacity Program - upgrades to the existing rail line
  • Western Interstate Freight Terminal - based at Truganina, linked to the interstate rail network
  • M80 Upgrade - Upgrades to the Ring Road between Laverton North and Greensborough
Further projects are promoted with Commonwealth support including the removal of level crossings, a rail link to Avalon (if only it were Tullamarine) and transport to growth areas (roads and public transport) to name a few.

Some other big projects that will continue in 'study' phases include the Doncaster, Rowville and Melbourne Airport Rail Link Studies.

It's great to see some highly anticipated public transport networks here; I'm particularly excited about the Melbourne Metro, but I'm not holding my breath.  Infrastructure is exorbitantly pricey and takes so long to begin (let alone complete!).  It is unclear which projects have priority and keep in mind that even though the State can commit some funds, this infrastructure wish-list is dependent on Commonwealth cash.

The list is also somewhat underwhelming in its emphasis on the same old 'more roads to ease congestion' approach.  Where is the commitment to bikes? What about bus rapid transit?

Overall, whilst the State Government's infrastructure priorities do include a range of rail initiatives, could more be done to genuinely promote sustainable transport?

Read the Premier's media release here.


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