Feds should back Victorian Transport Plan: Brumby

Roads and Ports Minister Tim Pallas calls on Commonwealth to get behind Brumby Government's $38 billion Victorian Transport Plan as part of its nation-building investments in infrastructure

Victorian Roads and Ports Minister Tim Pallas has called on the Commonwealth to get behind the Brumby Government’s $38 billion Victorian Transport Plan as part of its nation-building investments in infrastructure.

Speaking at the 5th Annual Roads Summit in Brisbane this week, Pallas reaffirmed his Government’s commitment to delivering the best transport network in Australia and urged the Rudd Government to build on its positive work investing in Victoria’s road network.

"The Brumby and Rudd Governments have worked well in partnership to build, upgrade and fast-track a number of important transport projects that invest in vital infrastructure, create jobs and keep our economy moving," he says.

"The former Howard Government grossly under-invested in Victoria’s roads, leaving the Brumby Government to plug the gaps. We received as little as 15 percent of the Federal Government’s annual transport infrastructure spending during the Howard years, while New South Wales received the greatest share – almost 40 percent in 2004/05.

"Victorians lost about $1.27 billion in terms of a fair-share allocation under that government, translating to about $361 per licence-holder or nine additional regional road projects.

"This is despite Victoria being home to 25 percent of Australians, contributing 25 percent of the nation’s fuel excise and being the origin of 25 percent of the nation’s freight task."

Successful projects either planned or under way with the Federal Government include the $2.25 billion M80 Ring Road upgrade, the $331 million Deer Park Bypass, the $404 million Calder Freeway upgrade and the $615 million Geelong Ring Road.

Pallas says it is vital to the both the state and national economies for the Rudd Government to also support the Brumby Government’s far-reaching $38 billion Victorian Transport Plan.

"The biggest investment in infrastructure in Victoria’s history, our transport projects will create up to 10,000 jobs every year and more than 100,000 jobs over the next 12 years," he says.

"The plan comes at a time when the industry is crying out for work and when there is widespread support for the role government, both state and federal, can play in giving the economy a much needed shot in the arm."

Victorian Transport Plan projects include the $6 billion North East Link, a $2.8 billion tunnel alternative to the West Gate Bridge, the $750 million Peninsula Link and the $380 million Truck Action Plan.

The Brumby Government is also delivering the biggest state-funded roads project in Victoria’s history, with the $1.39 billion upgrade of Melbourne’s busiest road, the M1, which takes in the Monash Freeway, CityLink and the West Gate Freeway.

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