Victorian state budget falls short of mark on roading spend

The Victorian Transport Association says the state budget is likely to leave freight operators disappointed, with a somewhat conservative amount allocated to key infrastructure projects.

While the VTA welcomes the government’s new Road Safety Strategy and other measures designed to ease congestion by improving the state’s public transport network, the budget is notably diminished when it comes to investment in the infrastructure required to support our freight network.

Among the key measures in the 2021-2022 state budget are:

    • $100 million towards progress planning of targeted upgrades, including improvements to safety and capacity at Calder Park Interchange, along the Calder Freeway between Gap Road in Sunbury and the M80 Ring Road, jointly funded with the Commonwealth Government;
    • $95 million to upgrade and maintain our suburban and regional roads;
    • $42 million for improvements to road network for freight, upgrading local bridges and improving access for heavy vehicles across the state’s regional road network;
    • an additional $3.6 million for the Mode Shift Incentive Scheme; and
    • funding for early works to upgrade Mickleham Road between Somerton Road and Dellamore Boulevard, and for the Ison Road – Rail Overpass.

The budget also allocates $386 million towards a new Road Safety Strategy, designed to reduce the state’s road toll by targeting dangerous behaviours

VTA CEO Peter Anderson said this budget will likely be a mixed bag for freight and logistics operators coming off the back of a tumultuous year.

“With Victoria’s freight needs predicted to double by 2050, now is the time to invest in our future,” Anderson said.

“This budget includes some prudent measures, particularly regarding our regional road network, which is set to receive a number of important safety upgrades.

“This, along the new Road Safety Strategy, will go a long way to ensuring the safety of all road users and the VTA acknowledges these great initiatives.

“Our state’s road, rail and freight networks have enjoyed some substantial and very-welcome investment over recent years; but more needs to be done.

“We must continue to work towards infrastructure projects that reduce congestion, improve productivity, and create jobs – to the benefit of not only freight and logistics operators, but all Victorians.”

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