The recent Victorian election showed a landslide victory for the Labor Party, reinstating Premier Daniel Andrews and his government for another term. As of Monday 26 November, Labor had won 42.9 per cent of the vote and a total of 51 seats, with the Liberals sitting at 30.4 per cent and 24 seats.
In his victory speech, Mr Andrews said voters had “endorsed the removal of 75 level crossings … and the biggest infrastructure agenda in road and rail in this state’s great history”.
So, what does Labor’s win mean for the state’s infrastructure? Infrastructure took a look at the major projects Victorian Labor promised during the election, and what the government’s main focus will be moving forward.
North East Link
Speaking with the media on Sunday 25 November, Mr Andrews announced that his first priority will be to forge ahead with the North East Link. Opposition Leader Matthew Guy had instead vowed to revive the East West Link.
Tender documents are expected to be released soon for the $15.8 billion road project, which will run from the intersection of the Eastern Freeway and Bulleen Road to the M80 Ring Road in Greensborough, and is expected to be open by 2027.
Suburban Rail Loop
The 90km underground suburban rail loop is another key transport infrastructure project for the Andrews Government. The loop is expected to cost around $50 billion and, according to a Development Victoria document, would connect every major railway line from the Frankston Line to the Werribee Line, via the Melbourne Airport. The loop would create 12 new underground stations and a total of 15 new station connections.
Airport Rail Link
The Melbourne Airport Rail Link is another project announced by the Labor Government, and supported by both sides of politics. During the election campaign, it was revealed that the proposed project route through Sunshine had garnered federal support. Other options under consideration included a route through Highpoint and Maribyrnong, creating a new suburban line, and using the Craigieburn line, with a spur between Essendon and Tullamarine. It is expected the full Business Case will be completed in 2019/20 with construction set to begin by the end of 2022.
Level crossing removals
Mr Andrews has also promised the continuation of the Level Crossing Removal Project, with a further 25 level crossings to be removed by 2025, reaching a cost of $6.6 billion. The criteria for removal has identified the next 25 priority sites across Melbourne based on congestion, construction adjacency, local access and safety. The Victorian Government has now consigned 29 level crossings, with 50 set to go ahead of 2022.
This story will be continue to be updated.