Media Release

03 October 2018

Guy: Liberal Nationals to build High Speed Rail between Geelong and Melbourne

Wednesday 3 October 2018

Liberal Nationals to build High Speed Rail between Geelong and Melbourne

A first term Liberal Nationals Government will build European-style High Speed Rail between Geelong and Melbourne, slashing travel times to just 32 minutes.

The Liberal Nationals plan for High Speed Rail between Geelong and Melbourne will almost halve travel times from a current time of 58 minutes to just 32 minutes, a saving of 26 minutes.

In other words, High Speed Rail between Melbourne and Geelong will be about the same travel time as the train from Ivanhoe Station to Melbourne Central.

Reaching speeds of 200 kilometres per hour, Victoria’s new High Speed Rail network will be the fastest in Australia.

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.

Current travel times between Warrnambool and Melbourne of 3 hours and 25 minutes will be slashed to 1 hour and 52 minutes – a saving of over 3 hours on a roundtrip.

Under the Liberal Nationals rail network revolution, Geelong will also become a major hub for regional rail services that connect the city with regional centres.  The new Geelong Metro project will provide the first metropolitan Geelong commuter rail service.

Operating from Colac to Bannockburn via Geelong as well as a service from Werribee to Waurn Ponds via Geelong, the new Geelong Metro will link with local bus services and put in place huge new public transport options for Victoria’s second largest city.

There is currently no direct rail service from Geelong to Werribee – the Geelong Metro project will ensure that employment and educational centres between Geelong and Werribee are now properly connected.

The Geelong Metro initiative builds on the Liberal Nationals plan to appoint the first Minister for Geelong, implement a new Geelong Planning statement – Plan Geelong, and commence a new planning strategy for Geelong inner city revitalisation called ‘Postcode 3220’.

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 right 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.

At the core of the Liberal Nationals plan for European-style High Speed Rail is the further separation of the regional network from the metropolitan network thus increasing capacity and avoiding a ‘dump and run’ at the end of the suburban rail network.

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

High Speed Rail is also going to take more cars off the Princes Freeway and that will mean safer roads 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.

Geelong and Melbourne will be about the same travel time as taking the train from Ivanhoe Station to Melbourne Central.

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

High Speed Rail is going to grow the Geelong 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 Shadow Assistant Minister for Geelong, Andrew Katos:

“Melbourne to Geelong in 32 minutes is a game changer.

For people who live in Geelong and work in Melbourne, this is going to save nearly an hour every day.  That’s an hour a day more to spend resting or relaxing with friends and family.

European-style High Speed Rail from Geelong will bring more employers to the area and create more employment opportunities as well as give people more lifestyle choices.”

Comments attributable to the Liberal Candidate for Geelong, Freya Fidge:

“High Speed Rail is also going to take a lot of cars off the Princes Freeway and that will mean safer roads and that’s going to save lives.

Daniel Andrews thinks Geelong is a safe Labor area and takes us for granted. This mega-announcement from the Liberal Nationals shows we believe in governing for all of Victoria, not just Melbourne.”