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Australia to disburse $2.2bn for Victorian infra

The federal government is holding A$3bn in its contingency for the East West Link project in case the Victorian government decides to build it.

The Australian and Victorian governments have agreed to commit A$1.5 billion ($1.1 billion; €1.04 billion) each to the Victorian Infrastructure Package, a programme designed to fund more than 40 road and rail projects across the state.

The package will provide half of the funding required for the A$1 billion Monash Freeway upgrade as well as A$350 million to revamp the M80 Ring Road and A$220 million to the Murray Basin Freight Rail project.

The regional roads package is also expected to receive A$345 million while A$75 million of funding will go to the urban congestion package.

The Victorian Infrastructure Package was proposed by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull in April this year as part of efforts to deliver new transport projects and improve road networks. It was also supposed to help build the East West Link but the funding was withheld when the project was scrapped.

Turnbull said at a press conference that the Australian government has A$3 billion earmarked for the East West Link in its contingency in case the Victorian government decides to build the project in the future.

Australia’s infrastructure investment programme covers projects worth a combined A$50 billion, according to Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester. Last week, the Victorian government rolled out the A$1.8 billion western package of the Outer Suburban Arterial Roads PPP and called for expression of interest.