Residents and commuters in the Geelong region have received a boost with more than $8 million released by the Commonwealth to progress planning and pre-construction as part of the $110 million Geelong Rail Line Upgrade, including the proposed Armstrong Creek Transit Corridor.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Michael McCormack said it was part of the Australian Government’s commitment to deliver better rail connectivity for Victorians.
“This project forms part of the Victorian Regional Rail Revival package, a $1.7 billion investment which will upgrade Victoria’s regional passenger rail lines to enable faster and more reliable rail services across the State,” Mr McCormack said.
“We have committed the majority of funding to this package – $1.55 billion – in partnership with the Victorian Government which will support the State’s many commuters and visitors who rely on passenger rail to get to their destinations.
“The release of this funding forms part of our commitment with the planning phase determining the scope of works for delivery, ensuring we deliver an upgrade which serves the region for years to come.
“These upgrades will improve travel times for residents while the delivery of this broader $1.7 billion package of works will create more than 1,000 jobs, including many in Corangamite, ranging from apprenticeships to professional services.”
Federal Member for Corangamite Sarah Henderson said she was pleased to see progress on the rail upgrade but remains concerned about the Victorian Government’s slow progress.
“While I am pleased to see more funding for important planning work towards the $110 million Geelong Rail Line Upgrade and a preferred alignment for the Armstrong Creek transit corridor, the State’s two year business planning process is unacceptably slow,” Ms Henderson said.
“We need construction to commence on an additional platform and pedestrian link at Waurn Ponds Station as soon as possible.
“It is also difficult to understand why the Victorian Government has only contributed $11 million to this project. It is essential that Daniel Andrews delivers the balance of the monies required to fund the duplication of this rail line and all platform upgrades as a priority.”
The $110 million Geelong Rail Line Upgrade will include construction of an additional platform and pedestrian link at Waurn Ponds station, as well as planning and early works to enable a future duplication of the existing rail line between South Geelong and Waurn Ponds. It also supports the identification of a preferred alignment for a future transit corridor between Marshall and Torquay, via Armstrong Creek.