Monday, 9 September 2019
Questions without Notice
I ask the Minister for Population, Cities and Urban Infrastructure: could he update the House on how the government is delivering stability and reliability for motorists, particularly those who use the very significant Monash Freeway in Melbourne?
I thank the member for Menzies for his question and for his commitment to busting congestion right across Melbourne. The Morrison government is providing certainty and stability for all Australians through our $100 billion investment pipeline in infrastructure. One of the more important projects in this pipeline is the Monash Freeway upgrade. For those who don't know the Monash, it goes from the CBD of Melbourne all the way out to Pakenham and beyond in the south-eastern suburbs of the city. This is one of the fastest-growing parts not just of Melbourne but indeed of Australia. When you look at the Monash itself, 470,000 trips are taken on that busy road every single day, and out in the part where the member for La Trobe resides you have something like a 4.4 per cent annual growth in traffic volume. What does that mean? It means that at different times of the day many parts of the Monash are coming all the way to a crawl, bumper to bumper. People are stuck in traffic. All they're seeing are the brake lights of the traffic in front of them, rather than getting home or getting to work early in the morning.
Last week, the Prime Minister, the Victorian Premier, the member for La Trobe and I announced an extra $368 million to get stage 2 of the Monash upgrade going. Stage 2 involves 36 kilometres of new freeway lanes on the Monash. It's in two sections: one between Warrigal Road and EastLink, and the second between Clyde Road and Kardinia Road. In that section we'll be boosting the capacity of the freeway by over 50 per cent. We're getting on with the job. Construction will begin next year and it will be completed by 2022. We're really making a difference and getting cracking on this project.
What does this mean for everyday residents in south-east Melbourne? First up, it means jobs. Six hundred jobs are going to be created during the construction phase alone, and a further 10,000 jobs will be activated by this project being connected to a new innovation precinct.
Equally importantly, it is time-saving. This is an absolute congestion-buster and it will save 22 minutes per day for people who are travelling from Melbourne into the city and back. That means almost two hours a week that people will be saving—real-time savings so that they can spend time at home or playing sport or doing what they want to do rather than being stuck in traffic. This is part of an overall plan that we are rolling out across Melbourne and across Australia to provide certainty and stability for all Australians, and we are busting congestion in the process. (Time expired)