VTA: Vic Budget positive


Anderson hails congestion-busting moves but notes North East Link misses out

VTA: Vic Budget positive
Peter Anderson has kind words for the Victorian Budget.

 

The Victorian Transport Association (VTA) sees this year’s Victorian Budget as ushering in a longer-term government approach to infrastructure development.

And while Melbourne’s North East Link freeway initiative failed to get up, other road and public transport works were welcomed.

"Victorian Treasurer Tim Pallas has outlined a long-term package of road and infrastructure spending and projects that will go a long way towards improving the traffic congestion that has crippled productivity for freight and logistics operators," VTA CEO Peter Anderson says.

"Importantly, many of the projects and spending outlined in the 2016 Victorian State Budget are outlined over a 10-year Capital Planning Horizon, which is an encouraging sign that the government is adopting a visionary and long-term approach to infrastructure planning, and resisting the temptation to align road and transport decisions to a short-term political timeline."

Noted in particular were:

  • full funding of the Metro Rail Project "which will provide greater public transport options for commuters and reduce road traffic and congestion"
  • full funding of the Western Distributor connection and with it a vital second Yarra River crossing direct heavy vehicle access to the Port of Melbourne
  • major upgrades to the Monash Freeway through an additional lane and deployment of smart technology to reduce congestion and bottlenecks
  • ongoing removal of rail level crossings throughout Melbourne, which will benefit freight and logistics operators and other motorists through seamless and safer rail level crossings
  • regional roads and bridges investments "that will see the duplication of key roads and upgrades to deteriorating and unsafe road surfaces".

"All up, the Budget includes $7 billion for important road projects and the VTA acknowledges and thanks the Treasurer and Roads Minister for acting on the concerns of industry," Anderson says.

"While the VTA’s preferred North East Link has yet to be prioritised with funding, the ongoing removal of level crossings and construction of the Western Distributor should see a marked improvement in congestion throughout Melbourne, and associated productivity improvements for operators.

"The VTA has been directly supported in the Budget with a $1 million grant for its Logistics Cadet Program, which will encourage and support employment opportunities for young people in our vital transport industry and help displaced workers transitioning from other sectors.

"This comes after a sustained effort by the VTA to secure a meaningful contribution from the government to support its work, and we thank roads minister Luke Donnellan for his advocacy on our behalf."

 

 

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