We attended a special briefing on the Victorian budget for 2023-24 and have since done a deep dive on the detail of the official budget papers to understand how and where money is being spent.
This information helps us plan and prepare for changes across the industry such as new technologies, new services and locations across the state to keep your union strong to deliver the best outcomes for members.
This budget provided an update on projects underway and already announced within the public transport industry, along with a raft of new initiatives that the RTBU has continued to advocate for.
Major highlights of the budget are:
- Metro tunnel has been announced to open a year ahead of schedule in 2025 with additional money allocated for train testing and recruitment of staff
- A further new 23 VLocity trains to meet growing demand
- Additional 25 level crossing removals, making it now 110 to be completed by 2030. 70 have now been successfully removed
- A $111 million in addition to the baseline V/Line budget to support improved regional operations, reliability, punctuality & maintenance
- Funding to expand the Kananook train maintenance facility, supporting the return of Frankston trains to the city loop in line with the opening of the Metro Tunnel. This announcement supports maintenance skills and capacity following the closure of the Westall depot, something the RTBU has advocated for in recent years
- Funding to build a new station at Tarneit West and upgrade Boronia Station
- The ongoing Next Generation Trams program works have been funded to facilitate the new trams along routes 57, 59, 82:
- Essendon depot stabling upgrades
- Critical safety upgrades at key stops
- Showgrounds & Moonee Ponds termini upgrades and additional siding capacity to meet future needs
- 200 extra services to be introduced:
- additional weekend return services for the Shepparton, Warrnambool, Ararat and Echuca lines
- more frequent weekend services on the Geelong, Ballarat, Seymour and Gippsland (to Traralgon) lines
- an additional Sunday service between Sale and Bairnsdale
- additional Saturday andSunday night services for Bendigo
- an additional morning peak service between Castlemaine and Bendigo
- service uplifts on the Hurstbridge and Mernda lines including additional peak service
- Funding to upgrade and increase capacity of the South Dynon maintenance facility to meet the needs of the growing VLocity fleet
- $650 million Melton upgrade that will remove 4 level crossings, provide extra stabling, build a new Melton Station and upgrade other stations to support 9 car VLocity fleets.
Works across the state remain in full swing with a clear pipeline of work in place for the years to come. The RTBU is working firmly on the operational readiness of new infrastructure and the circumstances under which it will be staffed.
Continued expansion of services will continue to show strong growth in patronage and demand for trained staff to support passengers and provide services safely as RTBU members continue to work hard to accomodate and support improvements across the network.
Should members have any questions or wish to get more details on budget items or other transport projects, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.