Canberra finds $7.8b for Vic roads, rail

After years of saying it was not getting enough infrastructure funding from the federal government, Victoria is set to get almost $8 billion in the budget.

Malcolm Turnbull and Daniel Andrews

Victoria is expected to score a $7.8 billion infrastructure package in the federal budget. (AAP)

Victoria's prolonged complaints about being short changed on federal infrastructure funding have been heard in Canberra, with the state due to receive a third of Australia's budget spend on new projects.

A $7.8 billion package earmarked for Victoria includes $5 billion for heavy rail to Melbourne Airport, $1.75 billion for the North East Link road, and $475 million for a rail link between Monash University's Caulfield and Clayton campuses.

"The Victorians were saying ... we hadn't committed enough money there in the past and they were pointing to big projects like the Western Sydney Airport," Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said.

"So sometimes the timing can be an issue but right across the country now there is a massive amount of infrastructure underway."

Mr Turnbull and Premier Daniel Andrews spoke on the phone on Monday morning, during which Mr Andrews said he was thankful for the funds.

"We've run a strong campaign to get a fairer share for Victoria. That campaign has worked," the premier told reporters.

The airport rail line - subject to a business case due for completion in September - and the North East Link, were the two items Victoria had put on its federal budget wish list.

"We're making sure that we are making investments that will help respond to and attack congestion," federal Urban Infrastructure Minister Paul Fletcher told ABC radio on Monday.

The Labor state government has already committed to planning a tram line from Caulfield, but the federal government wants heavy rail explored too.

"It makes sense to have a heavy rail connection," Mr Fletcher said.

"We're making a very substantial $475 million commitment towards a rail connection to the Monash precinct reflecting the size of Monash, the very substantial growth, the fact that people travel to Monash from all around Melbourne and beyond."

The federal government says it will still chip in $3 billion for the East West Link, a road the state government dumped when it came to power and which the opposition says it will build if it wins November's state election.

Opposition Leader Matthew Guy said the North East Link funding was "sensible", but he would still pause the project to build East West Link first.

"You can't build one without the other," he told reporters.


* $5 billion for Melbourne Airport rail link

* $1.75 billion for the North East Link road

* $475 million for planning and pre-construction work of Monash rail

* $225 million for the electrification of the Frankston rail line to Baxter

* $132 million to complete Princes Hwy duplication from Traralgon to Sale

* $50 million to support the duplication of the Geelong rail line between South Geelong and Waurn Ponds

Source: Australian Government

3 min read
Published 7 May 2018 at 2:26pm
Source: AAP