Flinders MP Greg Hunt joined Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Parliamentary colleagues to announce the Coalition Government’s $1.5 billion injection for essential infrastructure to ensure Melbourne retains its mantle as one of the most liveable cities in the world.
The centrepiece is a billion-dollar upgrade of the congested Monash Freeway serving the communities of South Eastern Melbourne.
Minister Hunt said the infrastructure package ensured the $1.5 billion in Commonwealth money that was being held by the Victorian Government was put to good use.
“The upgrade of the Monash Freeway will reduce traffic congestion and cut travel times dramatically for people living in Cranbourne South, Pearcedale, Tooradin, Cardinia, Koo Wee Rup, Western Port and the Mornington Peninsula,” Minister Hunt said.
“It will also shorten travel times for people visiting the region, which will have a flow-on effect for local tourism.”
This project involves $200 million of Australian Government funding to construct an additional lane in each direction from EastLink to Clyde Road and implement expanded freeway ramp metering between Warrigal Road and Koo Wee Rup Road (44 km).
Additional federal funding of $300 million will be provided to investigate and extend the widening westwards towards Warrigal Road and eastwards towards Cardinia Road.
Minister Hunt said the infrastructure upgrades would increase productivity and reduce frustration for motorists during their daily commute.
“This will mean people will be able to spend more time at home with their families rather than stuck on the Monash car park,” Minister Hunt said.
Other elements of the package include the final upgrades of the Western Ring Road, planning work on the Melbourne Metro project and an allocation for regional roads and urban congestion projects to be mutually agreed between the Australian and Victorian governments.
Minister Hunt said it was now up to the Andrews Government to agree to these projects and match the federal funding commitment to Victorians – dollar for dollar.
“The Turnbull Government remains committed to the East West Link, and our offer of $3 billion still stands. We are ready to deliver the project should any Victorian Government decide to proceed,” he said.