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The Victorian Treasurer says more than 115,000 people have already been employed by the state’s infrastructure blitz which will see $29.4 billion injected into the state’s road and rail networks.
This year’s budget has unveiled a raft of big infrastructure spending aiming to transform the state’s transport network with the centrepiece a $15.8 billion commitment to fully fund the North East Link freeway.
Victorian Treasurer Tim Pallas said 115,000 people were employed by the transport blitz with the North East Link project expected to create an additional 10,000 jobs.
“It means more than 100,000 jobs,” he said. “It means a booming construction industry, which now employs almost one in 10 Victorians.”
The North East Link freeway will connect M80 Road Ring at Greensborough to the Eastern Freeway at Bulleen Road, removing trucks from local and arterial roads. The freeway is expected to cut commuter travel time by 35 minutes after its completion.
The Victorian government anticipates the planning approval process will be completed by the end of this year with construction to begin early next year.
State Transport Minister Jacinta Allan said the project was well overdue.
“People have talked about North East Link for decades, but no one has delivered the funding to get it built — until now.”
The Victorian government estimates the freeway will return $1.30 to the state economy for every dollar spent.
Melbourne’s rail network has received a lot of love this budget with $3.4 billion committed to transforming the suburban rail network.
The Sunbury Line, which connects the city to the booming western suburbs, will receive a $2.1 billion upgrade to extend existing platforms to allow for larger trains capable of carrying commuters to use the line.
The upgrade will create room for an additional 113,000 passengers each week as well as improve wheelchair accessibility.
In the east of the city, $12.2 million has been budgeted to plan upgrades to the Cranbourne line with the aim of eventually doubling the number of trains running in peak hour with one the aim of one train every ten minutes.
This article first appeared on www.theaustralian.com.au
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