Liberal Nationals to build High Speed Rail between Ballarat and Melbourne

A Liberal Nationals Government will build European-style high speed rail between Melbourne and Ballarat, slashing travel times by at least 28 minutes to less than 45 minutes.

European-style high speed rail to Ballarat will bring more employers to the area and create more employment opportunities as well as give people more lifestyle choices.

This is a key part of the Liberal Nationals plan to revolutionise Victoria’s passenger rail network by delivering high speed rail right across Victoria.

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.

European-style High Speed Rail to Ballarat will also provide faster overall travel times between Ararat and Melbourne and Maryborough and Melbourne. A Liberal Nationals Government will also return passenger rail services to Donald as a part of its plan to revolutionise Victoria’s passenger rail network.

A new station will also be built at Warrenheip and dedicated express services will run to Melbourne from both Warrenheip and Ballarat Station. The Warrenheip Station will also include a new, large car park to service commuters.

A Liberal Nationals Government will also fund new-generation, faster, inter-city and long haul 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.

A Liberal Nationals Government will grow all of Victoria, not just Melbourne.

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 Ballarat receive the right number of doctors, hospital beds, teachers, healthcare workers and police to match population growth.

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 transform regional Victoria and 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:

“Bringing Victoria’s cities closer together with European-style high speed rail is the cornerstone of my plan to decentralise our jobs and our population.

I want to build a state of cities and not be a city state.

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 Member for Ripon, Louise Staley:

“Our plan for European-style high speed rail will decentralise our population and transform regional Victoria.

A Liberal Nationals Government will focus on growing all of Victoria, not just Melbourne.

European-style high speed rail to Ballarat will give residents real choices where they live and work and free up precious time to spend with family that is currently consumed stuck on trains.”