Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has announced that a re-elected Labor Government will undertake an investment in road and rail, the likes of which has never been seen in the history of the state.
“Over these next 100 days I’ll be laying out a positive plan for Victoria’s future and at the centre of this plan will be the biggest transport building program in Australian history because we can’t slow down, we in fact must double down,” Mr Andrews said.
In his speech at the Committee for Economic Development’s State of the State 2018 address that marks 100 days to the state election, Mr Andrews said the new building program will “stretch over decades, creating new industries and tens of thousands of direct jobs and building the modern moving connected Melbourne and Victoria that we all need.”
While details of the building program are yet to be announced, Mr Andrews emphasised the need to double efforts for the state’s infrastructure, in particular investing in skilled workers.
“That means that we have to double our efforts, and particularly double our efforts in relation to skills, because investments in skilled workers are critically important if we are to continue the infrastructure building agendas that we are as a community impressed by.”
In regards to skills and training, Mr Andrews said that next year 30 priority courses and 18 pre-apprentice courses will be free.
These courses will focus on skills relating to the construction of infrastructure projects, as well as responses to family violence, caring for older victorians and supporting people in the community living with a disability.
Mr Andrews said if re-elected, the government will get on with the next big project for the state; the North East Link Project.
“We are also upgrading every regional passenger rail line across our state, we’re fixing suburban and regional roads, we’re building the West Gate Tunnel and the Metro Tunnel. The Metro Tunnel is a project that is already fully 12 months ahead of schedule. Once that project is complete, it will run dozens of new trains that are being built by Victorians here in Victoria to benefit our community.
“If we are re-elected at the end of this year we’ll also get on with that next big project, the North East Link, that vital missing link in our road network, a link that will allow traffic to move around the city instead of being funnelled directly through the centre of it.
“Across all of those projects, and many more, there is already, I think, a very compelling case that this has been perhaps the busiest time our state has ever experienced.”