Victoria has about $22 billion in congestion-busting infrastructure projects on the drawing board, and the state budget makes a $6 billion down payment on these.

The 2015-16 budget allocates $2.4 billion over four years for the removal of dangerous level crossings across Melbourne, with 50 to ultimately be removed at a total cost of $6 billion.

The government says it will remove 20 of the crossings in its first term.

The Melbourne Metro Rail Project – new underground rail tunnels under the CBD costing $11 billion all up – gets $1.5 billion in this budget for planning work ahead of construction from 2018.

There’s also $1.3 billion to purchase high-capacity trains and build a new maintenance facility, together with more than $600 million to build new trains and train carriages.

The budget also contains $110 million to duplicate the Chandler Highway Bridge over the Yarra River and $150 million to undertake a next-stage upgrade to the Western Ring Road.

“It’s not road versus rail – we’re investing in both roads and rail to reduce congestion and get our state moving,” Premier Daniel Andrews said.

The Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre will undergo a $210 million stage-two expansion, funded in the budget.


By Danny Rose