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2nd November 2023 17:43
Victorian Legislative Council, Melbourne

David ETTERSHANK (Western Metropolitan) (17:43):

My adjournment matter is for the Treasurer and it relates to public transport in Melbourne’s west. As of June 2023, the growth areas infrastructure contribution scheme had close to half a billion dollars in unallocated funds. No funds have been expended from the scheme over the last two state budgets. May I suggest that we could use some of those funds to start to address the abysmal state of public transport in Melbourne’s west.

I have spoken before about the transformational benefits that an updated bus network would bring to communities in the west, particularly in those under-serviced newer areas such as, for example, the Kororoit and Werribee regions. I have also mentioned in a previous adjournment that CDC Victoria run most of the west’s bus routes and that their routes could be transformed into a fast, direct and connected network linking new suburbs to the rest of the city without significantly altering existing contracts. —

This would provide decent bus access to more than a million people in the west who do not currently enjoy that.

Here is where some funding from the growth areas infrastructure contribution scheme would come in handy. Money from the scheme could be used to fund a pilot in reforming CDC’s bus network in the west to a simple grid network, with buses running every 10 minutes all day every day.

It is all laid out in Melbourne University’s Better Buses for Melbourne’s West research paper. So my question is: will the Treasurer consider allocating funding from the growth areas infrastructure contribution scheme towards a pilot for reform of CDC Victoria’s bus routes in the west?

Written Answer
Received: 19 December 2023
Tim Pallas MP
(Treasurer, Minister for Industrial Relations, Minister for Economic Growth)

The Growth Areas Infrastructure Contribution (GAIC) was introduced in 2010 and is designed to help fund essential infrastructure in the growing municipalities of Cardinia, Casey, Hume, Melton, Mitchell, Whittlesea and Wyndham. Contributions are equally distributed into two special-purpose funds being the Growth Area Public Transport Fund (GAPT) and the Building New Communities Fund (BNCF).

To date GAIC has provided a total of $230 million of investment in the growth areas of Melbourne’s West with $102.5 million sourced from the GAPT. Almost a third of that GAPT funding has been allocated to new bus routes in Wyndham and Melton totalling $31 million.

The Planning and Environment Act 1987 sets outs requirements on GAIC funding allocation and stipulates that new bus services in growth areas cannot be funded by GAIC for more than five years.

Accordingly, the Government has provided further funding to continue new bus services in Wyndham and Melton beyond the GAIC funding terms.

Moving forward, as part of Victoria’s Housing Statement, the Government is bringing forward a $400 million package of works along growth corridors drawn from the GAPT and BNCF, providing essential infrastructure that will make a difference on the ground to new and growing communities.

The Government is also committed to reform of the bus network with Victoria’s Bus Plan, released in 2021, providing a blueprint that sets out how we still start to deliver a modern, productive, and environmentally sustainable bus network that increases the number of people choosing to take the bus by delivering simple, safe, reliable, and comfortable journeys.

A key action of the Bus Plan is developing a Bus Reform Implementation Plan to deliver network reforms across the State in the next seven years to 2030. The reforms will see a broader roll out of measures to maintain and improve the performance of the bus network, including those serviced by CDC in Melbourne’s West.


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