The Transport Pillar was delighted when the state and federal government announced an investment of $4 billion for the first stage of Geelong Fast Rail, which will deliver a 50-minute train service between Geelong and Melbourne. This was a 2019 Federal election commitment, but needed a bipartisan commitment. A route has been identified and both governments are committed to working together to deliver the project.
Both Governments have also confirmed they will bring forward funding for the duplication of rail between South Geelong and Waurn Ponds stations. This is vital as more frequent services from Melbourne logistically cannot happen without track duplication south of Geelong Station and grade separations of key road crossings.
The federal government brought forward funding of $292 million towards the first stage duplication of Barwon Heads Road, to service the rapid urban growth of Armstrong Creek.
The State Budget included $140 million for road upgrades along the Great Ocean Road and its hinterland.
We have advocated strongly for all of these projects over an extended period. They are desperately needed to cope with the region’s rapid growth and increase tourism capacity. They will inject hundreds of jobs into the local economy.
The Pillar held a Planning Forum early in the year to review the status of current projects, identify the potential for new projects and develop a shared vision for the region’s transport future.
The Pillar determined that a Regional Integrated Transport Plan would be created that builds on the G21 Public Transport Strategy (2014) and G21 Road Transport Strategy (2017-27).
Importantly, it will also incorporate the sustainability aspirations and commitments required to ensure we support growth and liveability in our region.
A new project has been adopted; for the G21 region to become Centre for Transport and Mobility Trials and Innovation in Victoria. This aligns with our UNESCO City of Design designation, and would respond to sustainability challenges, help us achieve our clever and creative targets and boost the local economy.
From G21’s Report to the Region 2020