Federal Budget Delivers Major Injection of Funds to Victorian Infrastructure

The Federal Budget delivered on Tuesday brings with it the promise of a $6.2 billion spend towards Victorian infrastructure, targeting roads and rail.

With a staggering $2 billion allocated to the development of a fast rail between Melbourne and Geelong – cutting the journey in half to just 32 minutes – the total national funding of infrastructure has grown to $100 billion, up almost 30% on last year’s figure of $75 billion.

The fast rail will be the first of its kind for the country, reaching speeds of up to 160km. There are plans to develop business cases for a further five fast rail corridors across the country.

It represents another big victory for Geelong, Victoria’s second-largest city. Last month, the Federal and State Governments signed the landmark City Deal, a promise to invest $355 million in major projects across Geelong over the next decade.  

$396 million has been allocated to spending via the Urban Congestion Fund, with the national spend quadrupling to $4 billion. Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said the emphasis was about removing bottlenecks and improving the flow of traffic on arterial roads. “This fund will focus on immediate, practical measures to cut travel times within our cities,” he said.

The funding includes $68 million to build commuter car parks around train stations to make it easier for travellers to utilise public transport.

With more than 50,000 jobs created as a result of national infrastructure projects since the 2013-14 financial year, the huge investment in Victorian infrastructure is expected to create thousands of opportunities in construction.

Other works outlined in the budget include a further $700 million towards the rail line between South Geelong and Waurn Ponds, including platform upgrades and duplication of track to allow for more services.

The Government also suggested that $3 billion would still be available to Victoria should it wish to pursue the controversial East-West Link.

Outside of infrastructure, the budget also allocated $40 million for the construction of a new paediatric emergency department within Victoria.

Catch up on this week’s industry news – Work halted on Multiplex’s Collins Arch development; Martin Monro is departing Watpac with Lendlease’s Ben O’Rourke to step in as CEO; and Anton Capital acquired Golden Age’s Spring Street site.

Header image source: Cannings Purple

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