The Federal Government will invest $2 billion in a fast rail between Geelong and Melbourne as part of its Plan for Australia’s Future Population.
The rail will be the first of its kind in Australia – travelling at an average speed of 160 kilometers per hour, which cuts the 80 kilometer journey down to 32 minutes.
The Plan for Australia’s Future Population aims to take pressure off big cities and support the growth of regions, with the Geelong-Melbourne rail set to be one of many fast rails constructed over the next 20 years.
The government’s 20-year fast rail plan will invest $40m into detailed assessments of five additional corridors, with plans to create a National Fast Rail Agency to guide the work, determine priorities based on assessments and work with state governments, communities and the private sector to provide innovative finance solutions.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the congestion busting investment would give time back to commuters and enable more people to live in regions while working in cities.
“This is all part of our plan to manage population growth that I announced this week to take the pressure off our big cities like Melbourne and make our regional cities like Geelong even more attractive places to live and work.
“As our population grows, fast rail networks are crucial to easing the congestion pressures in our cities and shaping Australia’s future,” Mr. Morrison said.
Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said faster rail services would mean greater accessibility to regional Australia.
“Faster rail services not only help to ease road congestion, it also means more people can access regional centres such as Geelong and wider region with reliable transport connections, which helps to generate more growth opportunities beyond the city limits.
“This is all part of the Australian Government’s plans to help Australians get home sooner and safer, and to share these benefits in regional Australia, by building strategic infrastructure projects that make a real difference to peoples’ lives, and enable the flow of people, trade and investment that is essential to having strong and successful economies in our regions,” Mr. McCormack said.