A Liberal Nationals Government will build an East West Link and a North East Link to create Australia’s biggest ‘Super Highway’ for Australia’s fastest growing city. Both these projects will be developed in tandem with both expected to be completed in 2026 and 2027 respectively. In a first term Liberal Nationals Government, at least $2 billion will be allocated to these projects from the state government with almost $5 billion expected from the federal government.
In our first 100 days of government the North East Link Authority will be re-tasked to manage and deliver both an East West Link and a North East Link super-project. Construction on an East West Link will commence in 2020-21 following final determination of the route in consultation with the Office of Projects Victoria. Construction on the first stages of a North East Link will commence by the end of 2020. In tandem with the construction of an East West Link, a Liberal Nationals Government will continue with the development of a North East Link consistent with the current timeline but including an immediate review to change elements of the design, including tunnel portal location and property acquisitions.
Melburnians have never before felt under so much pressure. We are spending more time at work, more time stuck in traffic and less time with family and friends. Melbourne needs an East West Link and a North East Link – and both will be delivered by a Liberal Nationals Government.
Commercial and recreational activity in and around Victoria’s bays and waterways (also known as the ‘blue economy’) is a significant contributor to the Victorian economy.
With 2,500km of coastline, over 120 bays, inlets and estuaries, over 85,000km of rivers and 13,000km of natural wetlands, Victoria has a substantial resource and opportunity to grow and expand the blue economy. Recreational boating is estimated to contribute $4.5 billion to the Victorian economy each year. This is underpinned by 193,000 registered boat owners, 1 million boating participants annually and 17,700 full-time jobs. In addition, recreational fishing generates a combined direct and indirect contribution of more than $7.1 billion per year and accounts for 33,967 full-time jobs.
An elected Liberal Nationals will establish a Blue Infrastructure Fund, representing a commitment to reinvest the proceeds of marine regulated fee revenue into boating infrastructure. The Fund will invest in infrastructure that improves access to Victoria’s waterways, meeting growing demand in key growth areas, including Port Phillip Bay and Lake Eildon, and will be administered by the Minister for Infrastructure.
Bottlenecks on our arterial roads are choking Melbourne and Geelong. This is why the Liberal Nationals have developed a new plan to ease the squeeze on our most congested arterial roads by committing between $4.1 billion to $5.3 billion to remove traffic lights from 55 of Melbourne’s busiest, most congested intersections.
Everyone agrees the removal of level crossings will help to free up Melbourne’s traffic congestion, but it’s only part of the solution. Another key part is to remove Melbourne’s most congested and frustrating traffic intersections, using grade–separations. Preference for grade–separations will be an underpass construction with consultation with the community, local government and engineering experts, determining the final design. The grade-separation configurations will be a closed diamond model of intersection removal – these will not be freeway style, clover interchanges.
As part of this project, traffic signal systems will be modernised to ensure traffic flow is optimised on corridors where intersections are removed.
The Liberal Nationals have committed to a range of initiatives to expand and enhance Melbourne’s metropolitan rail network, including:
Investing $307 million to duplicate the Hurstbridge railway line between Greensborough and Eltham. This includes provision of $4 million for 150 extra railway station car parking spaces at Eltham, Montmorency and Greensborough. This initiative will improve reliability and reduce overcrowding on the Hurstbridge railway line, enable additional train services to Montmorency and Eltham during peak times and provide capacity for trains to run every 10 minutes to and from Eltham.
Electrifying the railway from Frankston to Baxter as part of a $450 million public transport upgrade. The Frankston railway line will be extended by 8km as an electrified, twin-track railway to Baxter (via the current Stony Point line), with two new railway stations to be built at Frankston East (near Monash University and Frankston Hospital) and Langwarrin, and bus routes between Frankston and the Mornington Peninsula will be improved to link commuters to the new and upgraded railway stations. This initiative will create opportunities for new commercial, retail, health and education development in Carrum and Frankston, and take pressure off roads and car parking spaces in Frankston CBD and surrounding suburbs. This project will be delivered in partnership with the Federal Government, which has committed $225 million towards the Baxter Electrification.