Government promises to cut travel times
A re-elected Victorian Labor Government will aim to cut travel times for north-east Victorians who commute to university or require access to health facilities in Melbourne.
Should the government win the November election, it will get moving on a new underground rail network set to circle Melbourne, connecting every major regional train line from the Geelong line to the Gippsland line through to Melbourne Airport.
Under the plan, people living across Victoria’s north-east and the Goulburn Valley would no longer have to travel through the centre of Melbourne to access world-class education and health services, including Monash, Deakin and La Trobe Universities, and major hospitals including Monash, Box Hill and the Austin.
This will build on the government’s $1.75 billion Regional Rail Revival plans that are upgrading every regional passenger line in the state.
Regional rail users from the Albury, Seymour and Shepparton lines will also be one stop away from Melbourne Airport via a regional super hub in Broadmeadows, providing the connection train users need.
The project will create up to 12 new underground train stations, linking into every existing major suburban and regional line.
A project of this massive scale — among the largest in the world — would be built over multiple decades, with the first sections expected to take about 10 years to build.
State, Commonwealth and private sector contributions, as well as value capture opportunities, will be required to fund the project.
Business case development, detailed design and community consultation will begin next year, with work on the first stage expected to start by the end of 2022.