In Parliament this week, I celebrated the delivery of more than $1.1 billion of infrastructure funding for our region.
The funding – $292 million for the Barwon Heads Rd duplication, $208 million for the Warrnambool line upgrade, $30 million for the Western Rail plan and the bringing into the forward estimates $605 million for stages 2 and 3 of the Geelong rail duplication project – comprises one of the biggest allocations of infrastructure funding into the Budget forwards (20-21 to 24-25) ever delivered for our region.
With 80 per cent of funding delivered by the Morrison Government for these projects, it is imperative that the Victorian Labor Government steps up and provides the balance of funding required. That means Labor must immediately deliver $73 million for the Barwon Heads Rd, $52 million for the Warrnambool line upgrade and $143 million for the Geelong rail duplication.
Labor must deliver this funding so that these projects, vital for jobs and our economic recovery, can start straight away.
In my speech, I referred to Labor’s failure to deliver on its 2018 election commitment to fully fund the Barwon Heads Rd, noting that no Commonwealth funding was sought at the time. This is the road that Labor forgot. Only some $400,000 has been delivered for planning money and not a cent for construction. The Morrison Government has now remedied this failure by providing almost $300 million for this project It is time that Labor honoured its commitment to the people of Geelong and Corangamite by providing the rest of the money required.
(Note: click on hyperlinks to see fact sheets for each of these projects)