BUDGET: Funds lacking for Victoria, VTA says

VTA and RACV air concerns over the Federal Budget, claiming Victoria has been neglected

By Ruza Zivkusic | May 11, 2011

Victoria has been neglected in the Federal Budget due to a lack of funding for new projects, the Victorian Transport Association (VTA) says.

The state’s big transport projects have been overlooked, leaving commuters facing further congestion problems.

Projects included in the federal spending programs are the Geelong bypass, West Gate Bridge strengthening, Western Highway realignment and the Clyde Road duplication – all of which have previously been announced.

"Victoria has missed out badly," VTA CEO Philip Lovel says.

"It must be of major concern to the State Government. We need infrastructure.

"We just say that the Federal Government doesn’t get it.

"It adds cost to the community, cost to exports and we fall further behind with our infrastructure needs."

Major plans such as the east-west road tunnel and the underground cross-city rail are being reviewed.

RACV General Manager Brian Negus says he will continue putting more pressure on the Federal Government "to shape up with the big projects".

"They just haven’t recognised that Victoria is the engine room for jobs growth and efficiency," Negus says.

'We proved that during the global economic downturn.

"The Victorian economy has been the best in Australia but the government seems to bypass that.

"Victoria has been short-changed and regional Victorians have been betrayed by this budget."

The Budget, handed down last night, includes $1.1 billion towards road, rail and public infrastructure in Victoria.

The Geelong Ring Road will be extended over the existing Princes Highway West and along Anglesea Road, with a price tag of $62.5 million.

Strengthening and capacity works will be undertaken on the West Gate Bridge worth $120 million and rail lines at Geelong Port will be modernised.

"Congestion is costing Victorians $3 billion a year now and that’s predicted to reach $6 billion by 2020," Negus says.

"Unless the big transport issues are addressed by both the federal and state government, then our transport is going to be severely impacted and there will be an impact on jobs growth."

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