The population of regional Victoria will double to around two million people over the next 20 years with cities and towns within a two-hour arc of Melbourne growing the strongest.
To support this growth, the regional road and rail network is being fixed, rebuilt and modernised so Victorians can get home safer and sooner.
The Regional Rail Revival will improve every regional passenger line to give regional communities the quality services they deserve, while making travel safer.
Our Regional Network Development Plan sets out a plan to deliver a modern commuter-style service for key centres and service improvements to outer regional areas.
We will be upgrading infrastructure, buying new trains and improving facilities and accessibility for passengers.
Mobile phone services are being improved through signal boosters on all V/Locity trains so commuters can stay connected as they travel.
As part of the Victorian Budget 2022/23, a further 12 new VLocity trains will be built and maintained in Victoria for the regional rail network.
The Western Rail Plan sets out the future investments Victoria needs for a fast, high-capacity rail network servicing our Geelong and Ballarat, as well as our growing suburbs.
The new Melbourne Airport Rail project is not just about getting people to the airport.
It will provide better access to our booming regional cities for visitors to our state.
More than 90 per cent of daily journeys in regional Victoria are made on arterial roads.
To improve safety on Victorian roads and reduce road trauma, a $263 million investment will continue to deliver Victoria’s 2021-2030 Road Safety Strategy and the first-three year Road Safety Action Plan.
In regional Victoria, key projects include intersection improvements on the Bellarine Highway at Moolap Station Road, Moolap, duplication development on Ballarat-Carngham Road from Dyson Drive to Wiltshire Lane, Ballarat and new overtaking lanes in Strzelecki Highway, between Morwell and Mirboo North.
In addition, a further $101 million will improve safety and reliability on key regional highways and roads, new infrastructure will include intersection upgrades, roundabouts and overtaking lanes.
In 2022/23, Regional Roads Victoriawill continue to rebuild and resurface regional roads as part of a $780 million state-wide investment from the Victorian Government. Work will include routine maintenance, road resurfacing and bridge strengthening, ensuring our roads will be safe and fit for all road users, including freight.
Victoria produces a third of Australia’s food and fibre exports, making regional areas highly transport intensive. Freight volumes are forecast to keep growing at around 2.5 per cent a year.
Freight will be shifted to rail through the development of privately owned interstate rail freight terminals.
To keep people and goods moving, V/Line organisational improvement projects will support the reliability and efficiency of regional passenger rail operations, and major periodic maintenance and routine maintenance works on freight rail corridors.
The Bendigo Metro Rail project has already delivered increased services from Epsom, Eaglehawk and Kangaroo Flat to Bendigo and the new Goornong railway station was recently opened in December 2021.
The next stage of the project will include new train stations at Raywood and Huntly.
Innovative and flexible solutions to public transport in towns and rural Victoria will better connect communities, helping to address isolation.