A list of the most important infrastructure projects for the country includes hardly any initiatives to improve regional Victoria.
While much of the attention from Infrastructure Australia’s priority project list was heaped on East-West Link’s inclusion, very few projects are listed focusing on regional Victoria.
The only project listed for Victoria outside of the metro area is the Murray Basin rail upgrade.
While Committee for Ballarat chair Janet Dore said it was good to reinforce that this project in particular was needed, there was still too much of a focus on Melbourne-only projects.
“I think there is far too much investment in Melbourne, she said.
“If you keep opening growth in Melbourne, there will be more traffic and even more congestion if you do not have the infrastructure
“If you opened up the travel routes between Ballarat and Melbourne, it would be far easier for a whole lot of people.”
Ms Dore said she still did not understand how a business case or feasibility study had not been completed on the duplication of the Ballarat train line.
“They keep focusing on congestion in metro areas,” she said.
The report also lists an upgrade of the rail line to Melton as needed to be completed within five to 10 years.
It is believed this project would have a major impact on improving the capacity on the Ballarat train line.
Ms Dore said she was hopeful the Melton project would be moved forward to deal with the capacity problems currently causing so much Ballarat commuter frustration.
“We would want to move that forward because it would improve our passenger and freight needs,” she said.
Greens MP Colleen Hartland believes the government needs to set up a timeline for the Melton project.
“More and more people are commuting from Ballarat to the city and these people need to know that services will improve in the coming years, not in 15 or 20 years time,” he said.
“The service on the Ballarat line has got worse, not better.”
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