Budget 2020/21 delivers for Barwon25/11/2020
The Victorian Government’s 2020/21 Budget is investing in initiatives that support recovery in the Barwon region, including $2 billion to complete the first stage of the Geelong Fast Rail.
These works will take up to 15 minutes off the commute between Melbourne and Geelong.
Other investments in the Barwon region include $899 million towards the $901 million upgrade of the rail line between South Geelong and Waurn Ponds stations and the development of a business case for the Geelong to South Geelong Tunnel.
A further $44.1 million will be used to build the Great Ocean Road Coastal Trail and improve visitor facilities. These works will see the Great Ocean Road Coastal Trail extended from Fairhaven to Grey River and camping capacity on the Surf Coast increased.
It will also allow for the Great Ocean Road Coast and Parks Authority to upgrade visitor facilities and infrastructure such as toilets, viewing platforms, trails, beach access and car parking.
The Great Ocean Road and its inland routes will receive a $272.4 million boost for upgrades, which will improve key roads that support the dairy industry in the South West Region. This includes $140 million to upgrade and improve the resilience of the Great Ocean Road.
A further $35 million has been allocated for Regional Creative Infrastructure projects including the Torquay Multi Arts Centre and $492 million will be used to deliver 120 mental health beds in cities including Geelong.
Affordable housing is also a focus, with $200 million from the $1.25 billion regional allocation of the Big Housing Build allocated to build social and affordable housing in Greater Geelong and Surf Coast Shire.
Marcus Oldham College will share in $20 million allocated through the Agricultural College Modernisation Program to build 30 new student bedrooms at the Waurn Ponds campus near Geelong.
The final stage of the Kardinia Park Stadium redevelopment will be completed using $142 million in funding, with a new two‑tiered northern stand and new community facilities, supporting Geelong’s ability to host major events.
The Budget also provides support for Skilling the Bay and The Geelong Project which helps students, including those at risk of disengagement, to participate in school, training and employment pathways.
A number of state-wide initiatives focused on boosting key regional industries, creating jobs and encouraging tourism have also received funding.
These initiatives include the $465 million Victorian Tourism Recovery Package, the $626 million Victoria's Digital Future Now initiative and the $10 million Coronavirus (COVID-19) Regional Recovery Fund.