Construction has begun on the Victorian Government’s $518 million Ballarat Line Upgrade that will deliver more frequent and reliable services for thousands of passengers every day.

Work has begun at Hopkins Road in Rockbank and includes building site offices, toilets, storage facilities and access tracks so that work to duplicate 18km of track between Deer Park West and Melton can begin.

The site will also oversee the removal and relocation of endangered spiny rice flowers and vulnerable large-fruit groundsels – both native species – to a nearby location to protect the plants during works.

Along with Hopkins Road construction, site investigations between Deer Park West and Melton are identifying essential utility services that may need to be protected along the Ballarat corridor during major works.

Minister for Planning, Richard Wynne, approved all planning requirements for the Ballarat Line Upgrade in September 2017, paving the way for construction to begin.

The massive project will enable much needed extra services in the morning and afternoon peak, and a train every 40 minutes off peak for the growing communities between Ballarat and Melbourne.

It will also deliver new station platforms, car parking, train storage facilities, and passing loops along the busy Ballarat Line.

The project will create up to 400 jobs during construction – with apprentices, trainees and engineering cadets making up at least 10 per cent of the total work.

Member for Buninyong, Geoff Howard, said, “These works mark an important milestone for this project, ensuring we are on-track to deliver the Ballarat Line Upgrade by late 2019.”

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