The Victorian Government is delivering the transport infrastructure the Geelong community needs – with better connections to Melbourne and easier travel within the region making Victoria’s biggest regional city better than ever to live, work and invest in.
Minister for Transport Infrastructure Jacinta Allan today visited Geelong to speak to the community about Victoria’s $2 billion commitment, matching the Commonwealth’s contribution, for the first stage of Geelong Fast Rail – delivering time savings of up to 15 minutes between Melbourne and Geelong.
Patronage on the Geelong line has grown 191 per cent between 2009 and 2019 – and with Geelong’s population expected to almost double to 485,000 by 2051, demand for faster connections and increased capacity is growing.
Stage One of the project will deliver faster services to Geelong through dedicated new tracks on the more direct Werribee rail corridor. Some Geelong services will continue to run via Sunshine and Wyndham Vale providing reliable connections to Melbourne’s western suburbs as well as to Melbourne Airport Rail.
Alongside delivering the modern regional rail services a growing Victoria needs, Geelong Fast Rail will be a significant driver of jobs for the region – with Stage One set to deliver more than 2800 local jobs when construction begins in 2023.
Geelong Fast Rail builds on more than $1 billion of works already underway to improve the Geelong rail corridor – including an upgrade of Waurn Ponds Station and the South Geelong to Waurn Ponds Duplication – which will duplicate a key section of track to deliver more frequent and reliable services for passengers.
The Government is also delivering upgrades that provide immediate improvements to Victorians’ travel experience and deliver much-needed local jobs as the state recovers from the coronavirus pandemic.
North Geelong, North Shore and Lara stations will share in $24 million of upgrades to make train stations across the state safer and more comfortable, and the Corio to Waurn Ponds section of the Geelong Line will see the benefits of a $90.5 million package to upgrade track and level crossing upgrades across the regional network.
Geelong residents and visitors to the state’s south-west over the busy summer period will notice significant improvements to roads in the region, with the $117 million Drysdale Bypass now complete – boosting safety and delivering smoother and more efficient travel through the Bellarine Peninsula by diverting trucks off High Street.
As stated by Minister for Transport Infrastructure Jacinta Allan
“We’re catering to Geelong’s rapid growth by delivering faster trains, more capacity and better connections than ever before between Victoria’s two biggest cities.”
As stated by Member for Geelong Christine Couzens
“Not only are we delivering better rail services for Geelong – this project will create thousands of good local jobs in construction that our communities really need.”
As stated by Member for Bellarine Lisa Neville
“We’re proud to be delivering these time savings to Geelong journeys – because faster services mean commuters will spend less time travelling and more time with loved ones at home.”
As stated by Member for Lara John Eren
“Geelong Fast Rail will give passengers more choice than ever – the new track will get Geelong residents home sooner, but some services will continue running through Sunshine to connect Geelong residents to Melbourne’s western suburbs and to Melbourne Airport Rail.”
As stated by Member for South Barwon Darren Cheeseman
“We’re delivering the transport projects that will bring Melbourne and the state’s south-west closer than ever before – for Geelong and Barwon communities and visitors to our region.”