Joint media release
Senator the Hon Bridget McKenzie, Shadow Minister for Infrastructure, Transport & Regional Development
Senator the Hon Sarah Henderson, Senator for Victoria
Delivery of the full South Geelong to Waurn Ponds Rail Duplication project has been put at risk by the Albanese Labor Government’s decision to implement a razor gang review of funding for Victorian infrastructure projects.
Senator Sarah Henderson said Labor is demonstrating it doesn’t have a plan for the sustainable growth of our cities and regions by threatening to cut local infrastructure projects.
“Geelong is one of the fastest growing regions in the country which is why the former Coalition Government invested so heavily in local roads and rail infrastructure. This $893 million project, with $750 million from the Commonwealth, will deliver vital rail and station upgrades to reduce road congestion and improve train services.
“For working families, this will mean less time travelling to and from work and more time with loved ones,” Senator Henderson said.
The South Geelong to Waurn Ponds Rail Duplication project includes upgrades to the Marshall and South Geelong stations, track duplication between South Geelong and Waurn Ponds, removal of two level-crossings at Surf Coast Highway and Fyans Street, signalling upgrades and construction of new shared user paths.
“While construction of new track and a second platform at Waurn Ponds is complete and early works are underway on other parts of the project, the Coalition is deeply concerned that Labor may cut sections of the project which have not commenced construction or are uncontracted.
“Labor’s razor gang review is further evidence of its blatant disregard for the needs of regional communities.”
Across the Geelong region, other local projects at risk of funding cuts include:
- Grubb Road upgrade, Ocean Grove – $5m
- Surf Coast Highway, Reserve Road & Felix Street intersection – $2.1m
- Midland Highway and Clyde Road upgrade – $6.5m
- Geelong-Portarlington Road and Wilsons Road intersection – $2.5m
- Corio-Waurn Ponds Road, Separation Street bridge improvements – $4.2m
- Murradoc Road upgrade – $5m
Shadow Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development, Senator Bridget McKenzie said the Albanese Labor Government has threatened almost 100 congestion-busting, productivity-enhancing and lifesaving projects across Victoria.
“Labor’s infrastructure razor gang has been given the grim task of reviewing at least 90 Victorian projects worth over $20 billion, all of which had been identified as priorities by the former Coalition Government,” Senator McKenzie said.
“The full list of Victorian projects at risk may be even bigger as Labor has failed to guarantee that uncontracted future stages of projects currently under construction will be exempted from the razor gang process.
Senator McKenzie said the Government is making a terrible budget mistake by seeking to pay for Labor’s increased spending by cutting productivity-enhancing infrastructure.
Senator Henderson said the Andrews Labor Government should not roll over and meekly accept these funding cuts out of Canberra.
“The State Government should stand up for the interests of Geelong residents and push back against cuts to local infrastructure projects which have been planned with communities and the former Coalition government.
“Local federal and state Labor MPs including Richard Marles and Libby Coker have failed to stand up and fight for our region. They must raise the importance of these local projects with the Minister and Premier Andrews and guarantee they will not fall victim to Federal Labor’s razor gang.” Senator Henderson said.