Gov­ern­ment prom­ises to cut travel times

The Cobram Courier - - NEWS -

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.

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