$1.4 billion regional rail revival for Victorian trains

Regionaltrain lines will get a $1.45 billion fundingboost as the Andrews government moves to shore up its support across country Victoria ahead of next year’s state election.

With suburban level crossing removals and the Melbourne Metro Rail Project firmly underway, regional transport will be a centrepiece of Tuesday’s state budget – and every rail line will benefit from a revamp.

The long-awaited cash splash will be unveiled by Premier Daniel Andrews and Public Transport Minister Jacinta Allan on Sunday. It includes:

A $435 million upgrade on the the Gippsland Line, which the government says will improve the reliability of services and createmore than 400 jobs, with aprojectofficeinthe Latrobe Valley.More than $200 million for major upgrades in the Barwon South West region, including $100 million to allow the Warrnambool line to run more services.A $110 million investment into the first stage of a newSurf Coast Rail Project, paving the way for the duplication of tracks between South Geelong and Waurn Ponds and a future line to Torquay.$91 million to run faster and more reliable trains for passengers in Bendigo and Echuca.$39 million for stage 2 of the Ballarat Line Upgrade, to improve services in Ararat and Maryborough.”This is the next stage of our regional rail revival – because regional Victorians deserve public transport they can count on,” Mr Andrews said.

The $1.45 billion investment will be funded under the federal government’s asset recycling scheme, which gives the states 15 per cent bonuses for selling private assets – in Victoria’s case, the Port of Melbourne.

But in order for the projects to proceed as planned, the Commonwealth must give Victoria its full entitlement or pave the way for yet another state-federal stoush.

On the train to Warragul to announce $1.4 billion Regional Rail Revival package, including $435m for Gippsland Line pic.twitter成都夜总会招聘/kUNryDvtm0

— Jacinta Allan (@JacintaAllanMP) April 29, 2017And Labor forgets Western Vic exists yet again. Remember when you vote how little interest Labor has in our region. #thisislabor#springsthttps://t成都夜场招聘/PQipqsA1iD

— Emma Kealy MP (@EmmaKealyMP) April 29, 2017

Also from July, new passenger vehicles will start being charged the same duty rates as used passenger vehicles, rising from $6.40 per $200 of the market value to $8.40 per $200. New cars will therefore become more expensive: for instance, the stamp duty on a Toyota Corolla valued at $23,500 will increase by about $230.

And from 2019, property valuations will occur annually – a move the opposition says will ensure rates and land tax rates will rise every 12 months.

Liberal spokesman Michael O’Brien accused Mr Andrews of breaking his pre-election promise not to increase or introduce any new taxes, and warned that the changes would add to cost of living pressures already felt by families.

“Under Daniel Andrews the only thing rising faster than the crime rate is the tax rate,” he said.

But Treasurer Tim Pallas disagreed, saying: “These changes are fair and equitable and will help ensure the government continues to deliver the roads, schools, and services that matter to Victorians.”

Comments are closed.