So here we are, state budget day 2017.
A lot of things have already been announced, but they usually leave a few things until the day itself. Nobody was expecting anything huge, as logic would suggest they’d save their money until next year, when there’s an election and they need to dazzle people a bit more. But they might push along with some infrastructure projects that can be under construction by election day in November 2018.
— Daniel Bowen (@danielbowen) May 2, 2017
Below I’ve tried to summarise what’s being funded…
Public transport stuff
Night Network made permanent $193m
8 more level crossing removals brought forward (from the list of 50 over 8 years, not a new bunch of 8)
Station upgrades and car parking $9m – it doesn’t go into much detail
Accessibility upgrades at Oakleigh station (regraded ramps and a lift) and Middle Park tram stop (not actually sure which one) converted to an “Easy Access” stop $11m
Extra stabling at Mernda, and land at Broadmeadows for rail power upgrades $11m
10 more E-class trams $218m – at that price, must include additional upgrades for power, stabling?
More train/tram/bus services $62.5m – Werribee an extra 8 services, St Kilda Road tram shuttle (countering the recent removal of route 8?!), additional services for routes 57, 58, 59, extra 401 Parkville shuttle bus services to help during metro tunnel construction. Bus upgrades in middle and outer suburbs (Bentleigh, Frankston, Mordialloc, Narre Warren, Craigieburn, Sunbury and Broadmeadows… hmm, three marginal Frankston line seats, I see).
“Keeping Melbourne Moving” transport network impact management plan $15m
Train stabling at Kananook $187m
Station improvements at Flinders Street, Southern Cross and Richmond $9m. Not sure why this wasn’t included in the funding for Flinders Street refurbishment.
Hurstbridge line upgrade planning $5m
Fix platform gaps, and more TWPS to improve safety $67m
100 new PSOs, and it sounds like they’ll be used for mobile patrols. On trains perhaps?
Extra buses to Fishermans Bend (routes 235 and 237) in peak hour $2m — badly needed, as crowding has reached critical levels
— DJ (@TheDe3Jay) May 1, 2017
Another 39 V/Locity carriages, and for design work to boost capacity and improve amenity in the V/Locity fleet $311m
Regional/VLine maintenance $316m
Seymour and Shepparton area extra coach and train services $43m
Extra buses for Bellarine, Ballarat, Wallan $4m
Gippsland line upgrades $435m* including some duplication to allow more services
Warrnambool line upgrade $100m*
Surf Coast Railway and Geelong line duplication works $110m* – prepare the corridor and reserve the land, but not actually build anything, it seems?
Bendigo/Echuca upgrades for faster trains and an extra daily service to Echuca, as well as more services to Epsom and Eaglehawk $91m*
Ballarat line $39m* for stage 2 of the upgrade package for trains to Ararat and Maryborough (eg after the stage 1 upgrade, which includes duplication to Melton)
North-east line: upgrades for Donnybrook and Wallan stations and corridor changes to prepare for future standard gauge V/Locity services*
Ballarat station bus interchange $5m
*All these seem to be dependent on Federal funding as part of the asset recycling scheme
Meanwhile on the roads
North East Link $100m planning and preconstruction works funding, but basically locking the project in to happen after 2018.
Mordialloc Bypass $300m, connecting the Dingley Bypass (only recently opened, and already causing increased traffic on South Road) with the Mornington Peninsula Freeway
Yet more ring road upgrades $700m
Monash freeway planning for yet another upgrade $5m
…and a bunch of other stuff, including upgrades in regional Victoria.
Did I miss anything major? Leave a comment.
I’ll read through the numerous press releases and Budget Papers as I get time. There’s usually some interesting stuff on the latest patronage figures.
Overall, even if you leave out the rail upgrades to be funded by the Feds (if they agree to it), there’s plenty there for trains, underscoring their role as the backbone of the public transport network. Some upgrades for trams too. A few upgrades for the bus network, but not a huge amount.
And the question always must be: are they doing enough for public transport to keep up with population growth? And how much are they undermining it by building new motorways?
- Lots more on the official Budget web site. Check Budget Paper 3 for the detail, or look through the many press releases.
- PTUA: State, Federal governments must make a deal to fix transport
- ABC: Victoria’s budget had big announcements for transport, but will it make a difference for your commute?
Here’s the full stakeholder post-budget press conference, courtesy of VCOSS (PTUA’s Tony Morton is on at about the 15 minute mark):