Tuesday, 20 December 2022

Questions without notice

Victoria’s Big Build

Paul HAMER, Jacinta ALLAN

Victoria’s Big Build

Paul HAMER (Box Hill) (16:52): My question is for the Minister for Transport and Infrastructure. Melbourne is rapidly growing, and in my electorate of Box Hill constituents want the government to invest in transport projects that will serve them into the future. Can the minister please outline the government’s plans for continuing the Big Build?

Jacinta ALLAN (Bendigo East – Minister for Transport and Infrastructure, Minister for the Suburban Rail Loop, Minister for Commonwealth Games Delivery) (16:52): I thank the member for Box Hill for his question. I am most certainly delighted to outline to the house how only the Andrews Labor government is going to continue the work that we have done for each of the past eight years and continue the strongest construction pipeline that we have in the country. Continuing the Big Build, as we saw, was resoundingly endorsed by the Victorian community at the recent state election. I would particularly like to acknowledge the good local work of the good local member for Box Hill, as his community is front and centre of our program of works. We are getting rid of every level crossing in the area of Box Hill, including the two dangerous and deadly ones at Surrey Hills and at Mont Albert. We are building the North East Link that will slash travel time for every Box Hill resident heading north, and of course Box Hill is getting a new Suburban Rail Loop train station.

We know that there were others who took an alternative proposition to the community of Box Hill. They proudly touted around to the community of Box Hill that they would scrap the Suburban Rail Loop and oppose every single one of our level crossing removals. Well, welcome back, member for Box Hill. And of course Box Hill was not the only community where the Suburban Rail Loop was strongly backed in. The member for Ashwood, the member for Oakleigh, the member for Clarinda and our new member for Glen Waverley all backed in the Suburban Rail Loop.

And it was not just in the east, it was right across the state. In the west we promised to remove every single level crossing in the seat of Melton, and welcome back to the member for Melton. We promised to remove every level crossing on the Werribee line. Welcome back to the member for Werribee, and a new welcome to the member for Point Cook and other colleagues along that corridor. I have mentioned the east, but I do want to go back there because the member for Ringwood would want me to talk about how we are removing every level crossing in Ringwood; welcome back to the member for Ringwood. We promised a new train station in Boronia; welcome back to the member for Bayswater. We are also removing every level crossing in the Pakenham community and extending the train line to Pakenham East; welcome aboard to our fabulous new member for Pakenham.

But it is not just the suburbs of Melbourne, it is right across regional Victoria as well. We are removing two level crossings in Geelong and duplicating Barwon Heads Road, and I know our great members for South Barwon and for Geelong and of course – we have got so many I have lost you all – our new member for Bellarine and our new member for Lara are all backing in strongly the work we are doing on the Big Build and the Ballarat line. I know the federal member for Ballarat is a very big supporter of the extra train services on our Ballarat line, but not only did we add services to Ballarat, we have added them to Ararat and Ripon as well – and welcome to the new member for Ripon.

I just want to finish on this point. A few months ago this was what was said in this place by the member for Caulfield: that the coming state election would be a referendum – do you want a rail line from Cheltenham to Box Hill? Guess what, I reckon the answer was yes. Of course the Victorian community want us to continue not just the Suburban Rail Loop, not just removing level crossings, not just every road and rail upgrade that we are doing across city and country; they want us to continue to do this work because it means jobs, it supports families, it supports a fairer community and it is about continuing to support this great state, in every corner of this state, with a strong and important transport infrastructure pipeline.