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$1.5 billion infrastructure stimulus to drive recovery in regional Victoria


    A new $1.5 billion Australian Government infrastructure package will provide an immediate injection into the economy and bring jobs back online to help stem the impact of COVID-19.

    Senator for Victoria Sarah Henderson said getting shovels in the ground on local construction projects was important for maintaining jobs and economic growth in regional Victoria.

    “Every single job that we support makes a huge difference in our local communities – now and as we navigate out of the pandemic,” Senator Henderson said.

    Victoria will receive $178.2 million under the Regional Rail Revival program which will improve liveability in regional Victoria and boost capacity and safety for regional Victorians travelling to Melbourne.

    Towns and cities in regional Victoria are set to gain from $16 million allocated to safety upgrades on 30 high-risk and high-speed intersections across the State as well as $5.2 million for pedestrian and school road safety upgrades.

    Regional Victoria will also benefit from $71.5 million under the Targeted Road Safety Works Program which will boost safety, efficiency and reliability  along the regional road network.

    Projects that will boost jobs and stimulate regional economies under the Targeted Road Safety Works program include:

    Ballarat electorate:

    • $8 million for safety improvements to the Western Freeway between Woodmans Hill and Dowling Road, Miners Rest;
    • $4 million for the Western Freeway realignment at Pykes Creek; and
    • $1 million for traffic calming works at Wendouree Station.

    Corangamite & Corio electorates

    • $3.7 million for road upgrades to Thompson Road, North Geelong;
    • $3.4 million for improvements to the Corio-Waurn Ponds Road Geelong and Separation Street Bridge;
    • $5.2 million Midland Highway/Clyde Road safety improvements;
    • $1.7 million for safety upgrades to the intersection of the Surfcoast Highway and Reserve Road and Felix Street, Grovedale; and
    • $2 million for improvements to the Geelong-Portarlington Road at the Wilsons Road i

    “These types of infrastructure projects will be also particularly crucial for helping us bounce back after the COVID-19 crisis has ended by ensuring we have the safe transport connections needed for all Australians to keep moving.”

    Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the new package would fund shovel-ready infrastructure projects that can support local jobs immediately.

    “This funding will deliver critical infrastructure projects right across the country to help keep construction businesses running and people in jobs,” the Deputy Prime Minister said.

    “$1 billion of this package will fund projects that can get underway now and over the next six months, to give an immediate boost to the economy and local jobs – right at the time we need it.

    “We will work together with the states and territories to deliver these job-creating priority projects, building on our unprecedented cooperation to date through the National Cabinet of States and Territories.”

    “The package also includes a $500 million Targeted Road Safety Works initiative for states and territories to deliver smaller but critical projects to improve road safety and bolster the resilience of our local road networks.

    “The Government has already announced $500 million for local governments to support projects such as road safety improvements, maintaining community infrastructure and increasing accessibility.

    “This is part of our $100 billion, 10-year infrastructure pipeline, which is laying the foundations of a financial bridge to recovery on the other side of the COVID-19 crisis.”

    Minister for Population, Cities and Urban Infrastructure Alan Tudge said the $1.5 billion package, combined with the additional funding to local governments, is expected to support up to 12,000 direct and indirect jobs by creating new local opportunities and securing existing positions.

    “This package will support thousands of jobs across our national construction sector, which we know is facing many challenges due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis,” Mr Tudge said.

    “This includes local governments as well, who will receive funding to deliver targeted projects in their area.

    “These types of infrastructure projects will be particularly crucial for helping us bounce back after the COVID-19 crisis has ended by ensuring we have the safe transport connections needed for all of Australia to keep moving.

    “We will continue to work across governments and in partnership with industry to ensure the safety of all Australians while they deliver our pipeline of critical infrastructure projects.”

    6  July 2020

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