The Andrews Labor Government will drive Victoria’s economic recovery from the pandemic, and create thousands of jobs, by building the road and rail that will get Victorians home sooner to spend time with their family.

The Victorian Budget 2020/21 includes a major investment in the vital projects that will serve passengers and motorists for decades to come – including the city-shaping Suburban Rail Loop project and faster train services to our state’s biggest regional city.

The Suburban Rail Loop will link every major railway line from the Frankston line to the Werribee line via the airport, providing important connections to employment, health, education and retail centres in Melbourne’s middle suburbs – with three new super hubs at Clayton, Broadmeadows and Sunshine connecting regional passengers to the network. Suburban Rail Loop will create up to 20,000 jobs during construction and kick-start the careers of 2,000 apprentices, trainees and cadets.

This year’s Budget provides $2.2 billion to get works underway on the Suburban Rail Loop project, creating up to 800 direct jobs – with project development, geotechnical and utility work to get us started on this project that will reshape Victoria.

The Labor Government will also invest $2 billion in the Geelong Fast Rail project to reduce travel times between Geelong and Melbourne and carry more passengers on our state’s busiest regional rail line – matching the Commonwealth’s commitment to the project.

Geelong Fast Rail will mean fewer stops, faster trips and less crowded trains – and is the first step to delivering fast rail to regional Victoria.

The Budget includes Victoria’s share of $660 million to deliver the next stages of the Shepparton and Warrnambool Line Upgrades – giving regional Victorians more reliable travel to and from Melbourne.

Stage 3 of the Shepparton Line Upgrade will allow trains to travel up to 130km/h enable nine weekday return services to and from Melbourne, while Stage 2 of the Warrnambool Line Upgrade will upgrade the track to enable VLocity trains to the state’s south-west for the very first time.

Critical road projects will get underway in the coming months – relieving congestion and easing pressure on our road network, with works to continue to ramp up on the Barwon Heads Road Upgrade, Narre Warren North Road Upgrade and South Road Upgrade as well as continuing planning work on a Bulla Bypass.

Work on the Murray Basin Rail Project must start as soon as possible ahead of the next grain season to deliver benefits to Victorian farmers and freight operators. The Budget commits $48.8 million to deliver Victoria’s share of funding for the project’s next steps.

As well as the massive projects that will change the way we move around our state for decades to come, the Budget also invests in smaller local infrastructure that will make a big difference to local families and local communities, and can get started sooner to create the jobs we need, now.

The Budget includes $276.5 million for the final stages on the Dandenong Corridor that will allow faster train speeds by upgrading infrastructure before the deployment of High Capacity Metro Trains, which are being assembled in Melbourne and are supporting 1100 jobs. It also includes $5.5 million to plan important track works near Caulfield Station and $4.4 million to deliver a pedestrian crossing and drop-off zone for the new school in the Fitzroy Gasworks renewal precinct.

To boost diversity and equality within the transport sector, the Labor Government will invest $2.4 million to encourage women of all ages and backgrounds to join the workforce through scholarship programs and initiatives to support career development.

This pipeline of work provides local, long-term jobs for those Victorians working directly on the projects as well as the wider supply chain – with every 100 jobs on Victoria’s Big Build delivering an average of around 200 jobs across the economy.

This year’s Budget builds on Victoria’s unprecedented program of transport infrastructure – with $70 billion of work already underway across the state including the Metro Tunnel, removing 75 level crossings and the North East Link.