East West Link, airport rail link, abolishment of Zone 2 among transport projects set to be funded in tomorrow’s State Budget

Melbourne Leader: East West Link, airport rail link, abolishment of Zone 2 among transport projects set to be funded in tomorrow’s State Budget. Kylie Adoranti. 5 May 2014

Road infrastructure and transport look set to dominate the State Government’s budget when it is released tomorrow.

The government has already made a series of funding announcements leading up to its 2014/15 budget.

It comes as no surprise the East West Link will receive a massive chunk of the money, with $1.5 billion allocated towards the completion of the second stage of the project.

Road maintenance and restoration works will get $130 million over four years.

The Cranbourne-Pakenham rail corridor project will receive $2.5 billion and $17 million will go towards buying VLocity train carriages.

A proposal for a rail link from Southern Cross Station to Melbourne Airport will be detailed in the budget and $100 million set-aside for free tram travel in the CBD and Docklands as well as plans to abolish Zone 2 in 2015.

The budget will include half price annual public transport tickets for international students and plans for free WiFi in the CBD.

Major announcements for health include $23.9 million for the Royal Children’s Hospital’s new computer system, $4 million for the state’s neonatal intensive units, $550 million for state-of-the-art emergency helicopters from January 16, $34 million to expand drug and alcohol treatment services and to tackle use of illicit drugs such as ice and $190 million to improve disability services.

Education so far received a few boosters, the main ones being $20 million to establish a secondary school in Prahran, $8 million for Brighton Secondary College and $7.8 million for Coatesville Primary School, Bentleigh.

Rosanna Golf Links Primary, Ivanhoe will get $5.6 million and $2.7 million will be for Vermont Secondary College to build its new science wing and administration block.

Arts Centre Melbourne will receive $10 million over the next two years and $42.5 million will be given for the expansion of The University of Melbourne’s Victorian College of the Arts as well as $35.4 million allocated to the Food to Asia Plan Launch.

Tomorrow’s budget will also include $12.2 million for the CFA and $13.5 million to deploy 580 tasers to 29 regional police stations across the state.

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