Ms VAGHELA (Western Metropolitan) (12:38:15): My constituency question is directed to the Honourable Jacinta Allan, Minister for Transport Infrastructure. The Andrews Labor government is keeping its promise and getting on with the vital planning needed to deliver fast rail to the regions and more metro services to our growing suburbs. As you know, the Victorian budget of 2019–20 invests $100 million in the Western Rail Plan. The investment will continue the technical work required to deliver two new electrified metro lines to Melton and Wyndham Vale, with the Wyndham Vale line potentially becoming the western section of the Suburban Rail Loop. The upgrade will ensure the additional tracks between Sunshine and the CBD will enable more trains to run. My question to the minister is: can the minister provide me with the approximate time savings constituents from my region travelling on those lines would have each day?
Ms ALLAN (Bendigo East—Leader of the House, Minister for Transport Infrastructure) (15 August 2019): I thank the Member for Western Metropolitan for raising the constituency question on the transformative impact the Western Rail Plan will have on those living within the Western Metropolitan region. Building on the success of the Regional Rail Link project, the Andrews Labor Government has committed $100 million to support detailed planning for the Western Rail Plan in the 2019- 20 state budget. Melton, Wyndham Vale and suburbs along these rail corridors are among Melbourne’s fastest growing suburbs. These areas are currently only served by V/Line services, creating a significant pressure point on Victoria’s public transport system with metropolitan and regional customers sharing services. As part of the Western Rail Plan, the Andrews Labor Government will create two new electrified metro lines to Melton and Wyndham Vale. These works will give these communities frequent high-capacity services on the metro network, relieving pressure on one of Melbourne’s biggest transport bottlenecks and returning regional rail lines to regional passengers. Extensive planning and design development work for the electrifications is currently underway, with a range of site investigations and technical studies being undertaken to better understand existing conditions along the rail corridors to Melton and Wyndham Vale. All operational requirements, including journey times and future service patterns are being investigated as part of these technical studies. The Andrews Labor Government is fully committed to meeting Melbourne’s transport needs and delivering reliable, fast and safe public transport services for Victoria’s future.