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The federal and state governments will pour more than $500 million in additional funding into regional rail and road safety upgrades across Victoria to underpin hundreds of construction jobs and boost the struggling economy.
About $300 million of the new money will be put towards the Regional Rail Revival program, which is modernising the passenger rail network to all corners of the state with more track, more trains and increased services.
Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said the additional $320 million in federal funding had taken the Commonwealth’s infrastructure investment in Victoria to more than $29.5 billion.CREDIT:ALEX ELLINGHAUSEN
The federal government will also provide an additional $70.6 million in funding to complete duplication of the Princes Highway between Traralgon and Sale, east of Melbourne.
An additional $20 million will be put towards safety upgrades at 30 high-speed, high-risk rural intersections and $19.5 million towards urban and regional pedestrian safety upgrades around schools.
About $10 million will be put towards upgrading the Western Freeway between Woodmans Hill to Dowling Road, Miners Rest.
The federal and state governments agreed to fast-track infrastructure projects as part of the push to kickstart the economic recovery from the coronavirus recession.
Canberra will contribute $320.3 million to the jointly funded package alongside Victoria's $205.5 million.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said further investment in infrastructure would play a critical role in the Commonwealth’s JobMaker plan and help the Victorian economy as it recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic.
He said the latest funding injection built on the fast-tracking of $514 million for infrastructure in Victoria announced last November, locking in priority upgrades that would bust congestion, increase productivity, improve safety, and boost jobs.
“This funding injection means we have brought forward or provided additional funding in excess of $830 million to Victoria in the past eight months," Mr Morrison said.
This article first appeared on www.theage.com.au
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