FOLLOWING the release of Infrastructure Victoria's independent 30-year infrastructure plan, the Victorian Government last week announced its response, with a new five-year Victorian Infrastructure Plan that outlines the government's infrastructure priorities over the coming years.
Special Minister of State Gavin Jennings said the Victorian Infrastructure Plan includes construction of the Metro Tunnel, the removal of level crossings and improvements to schools and hospitals. The plan also lays out the government's priorities for the next 5 years, including the planning and delivery of North-East Link.
"It also includes delivering the Regional Rail Revival that our regions need, and joining with the Commonwealth to plan for a future airport rail link – projects that will continue to boost jobs, improve transport links and ensure that Victoria remains the most liveable state," Mr Jennings said.
The plan includes the government's response to each of Infrastructure Victoria's 137 recommendations, with 134 of the recommendations either supported in full or, in-principle, or partly supported. Two recommendations (transport network pricing and energy pricing) were not supported, while a third recommendation relating to brown coal transition is subject to further consideration.
Infrastructure Victoria was established in September 2015 as an independent advisory body and tasked with developing Victoria's first ever state-wide, all sector, 30-year infrastructure strategy.
The final strategy was released in December last year with its recommendations worth a combined $100 billion across nine sectors including transport, infrastructure and housing. The strategy supported a range of state-wide transport upgrades across rail and road, boosting health services in growth areas and developing a 5-year plan for rebuilding Victoria's schools.
Other recommendations included increasing housing density in established areas to make better use of existing infrastructure, and boosting investment for social and affordable housing. The strategy also recommended a connection between the Eastern Freeway-CityLink-Western Ring Road and the introduction of transport network pricing.