Improved ICT and transport top regional priorities

Tuesday 4 October 2016

Infrastructure Victoria has today recommended upgrades to regional rail lines and highways, new and expanded bus and coach services and expanding digital health and information technology infrastructure as part of its draft 30-year infrastructure strategy.

Infrastructure Victoria Chief Executive Michel Masson said the draft strategy laid out a pipeline of new projects alongside policies and reforms to get the most out of existing infrastructure, and had a strong focus on regional Victoria.

“More than 70 per cent of the recommendations apply statewide, as we need to plan for all of Victoria,” Mr Masson said.

“The draft strategy aims to improve connectivity for regional Victoria, whether through better technology, better transport or creating spaces and facilities for communities to come together.

Key recommendations include:

  • Improving ICT connectivity across Victoria over the next 10 years, particularly in rural and regional areas, by maximising benefits from the NBN roll-out and initiatives by telecommunications providers
  • Regional rail and highway upgrades
  • Expansion of regional bus and coach services
  • The electrification of the rail line to Melton, improving rail services to and from Ballarat
  • New train stations and tracks along the Regional Rail Link to relieve overcrowding on train services between Geelong and Melbourne
  • Completion of planning work to protect a transport corridor linking Torquay to Geelong
  • Expanding integrated community health hubs
  • New or expanded courts in growing cities such as Bendigo and Geelong
  • Expanding telehealth - such as video conferencing and remote monitoring -  to allow regional Victorians to access specialist and other health services without the need for travel
  • Transforming new state schools into shared community hubs with shared sports grounds, performing arts and onsite early childhood facilities
  • A new police non-emergency hotline to connect all Victorians with police and other justice services

The draft strategy has been released for consultation before the final 30-year infrastructure strategy is delivered to Parliament in December.

To read the draft strategy and supporting technical documents, or provide feedback, visit the consultation website. The consultation period closes on 31 October 2016.

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