Media Release

03 October 2018

Guy: Liberal Nationals to build faster rail between Warrnambool and Geelong

Wednesday 3 October 2018

Liberal Nationals to build faster rail between Warrnambool and Geelong

The Liberal Nationals Government will build a fast rail between Warrnambool and Geelong, slashing travel times by and hour and a half.

The Liberal Nationals will build faster rail between Warrnambool and Melbourne will see the current travel time of 3 hours and 25 minutes reduced to 1 hour and 52 minutes – a saving of over 3 hours on a roundtrip.

Reaching speeds of 160 kilometres per hour, on the Warrnambool line, the state wide network will be the fastest in Australia. The Warrnambool line has a current maximum speed of around only 130kms per hour.

The High Speed Rail project will see the rebuild of much of Victoria’s current Class 1 track to 200 kilometres per hour operation as well as major track improvements on every other passenger rail line.

The Liberal Nationals vision is to build a state of cities and not be a city state focused on Melbourne, like the Labor Government is.

But to build a state of cities we need to build European-style High Speed Rail connecting our regional centres and we need to grow regional jobs.

That’s why we recently announced a Population Commission to manage population growth throughout Victoria and ensure that regional cities have the infrastructure and services needed to sustain that growth.

One of the most important functions of the Population Commission will be to ensure regional centres like Geelong receive the minimum number of doctors, hospital beds, teachers, healthcare workers and police to match population growth.

A Liberal Nationals Government will also fund new-generation, faster, variants of the successful V/Locity trains which will provide better comfort and leg room, safety and amenity for passengers.

Bringing Victoria’s cities closer together with European-style High Speed Rail is the cornerstone of the Liberal Nationals plan to decentralising our jobs and our population.

High Speed Rail is also going to take more cars off the Princes Freeway and Hamilton Hwy and that will mean safer roads, and reducing driver fatigue and that’s going to save lives.

Whilst Daniel Andrews and Labor have introduced 12 new taxes in the last four years, a Liberal Nationals Government will not introduce a new tax or levy to fund European-style High Speed Rail.

At an estimated total cost of $15 billion to $19 billion this super-infrastructure project will change the map of Victoria and it is affordable, sensible and realistic.

That’s why construction of a European-style High Speed Rail in Victoria is also a nation building project that will attract funding from the state and federal government along with the private sector.

Building a High Speed Rail network across Victoria will create at least 10,000 new jobs.

Add to that, another 19,000 new jobs to build the Liberal Nationals congestion-busting new highway and arterial road projects and that’s a total of around 30,000 new jobs.  Many of these 30,000 new jobs will be in regional Victoria.

Only the Liberal Nationals will ease the squeeze on population growth and manage the right population growth in the right areas at the right time.

Comments attributable to Leader of the Opposition, Matthew Guy:

“I want to build a state of cities, not a city state but to do that we must build European-style High Speed Rail.

The Liberal Nationals want to grow all of Victoria, not just Melbourne.

High Speed Rail is going to grow the Warrnambool economy, grow jobs, grow the population and grow services like more teachers, doctors, healthcare workers and police.

Victoria needs population growth but it needs to be the right growth in the right places at the right time.  We can’t afford another four more years of Labor’s unplanned, unmanaged population growth.”

Comments attributable to Liberal Member for South West Coast, Roma Britnell:

“European-style High Speed Rail between Melbourne and Warrnambool will attract more people to the area and truly grow our region that is currently being held back by a lack of connectivity to the rest of Melbourne.

We have industries in Warrnambool that are ready to boom, but are being constrained without adequate rail to and from Melbourne’s ports and services.”