Starting gun fired for Vic state election

The starting gun has sounded in Victoria's official election campaign but the race to the poll is off to a slow start as the state grapples with prolonged flooding.

Governor Linda Dessau signed the writs on Tuesday, ending the 59th parliament and formally triggering the election process.

Labor leader Daniel Andrews kept a low profile on the first day of the campaign, watching the Melbourne Cup alongside Emergency Services Minister Jaclyn Symes and volunteers at a Shepparton food bank.

Ms Symes earlier defended Labor backbencher John Kennedy claiming a $20,000-a-year motor vehicle allowance, despite never holding a driver's licence.

"He catches a lot of public transport and he catches a lot of commercial transport. He's entitled to an allowance that other MPs receive," she said.

Opposition Leader Matthew Guy was channelling former Liberal NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian on social media, pictured with a beer in hand in front of a screen watching the Cup rather than the State of Origin.

Both Labor and the coalition dismissed an independent report on Melbourne Airport Rail that urged them to consider delaying the $8 billion to $13b project.

Infrastructure Australia evaluated the business case for the link, which will take passengers from the airport to Melbourne's CBD in less than 30 minutes, and recommended more work to improve cost estimates.

It found most benefits from the project won't materialise until the recently widened Tullamarine Freeway reaches capacity, forecast in 2036.

The report suggests the next government should also ponder ways to shift road users to Melbourne Airport Rail earlier, including road congestion charges for drivers and competitive train fares.

Mr Guy said the coalition didn't support congestion charges on the Tullamarine Freeway but backed a rail line to the airport, in line with Labor.

"Perth is getting one, Sydney's got one, Brisbane's got one - it's now time for Melbourne to have one," he told reporters in Cheltenham while spruiking a $100 million community grants program for solar panels and batteries.

The Victorian and federal governments have each committed $5b to build Melbourne Airport Rail by 2029 and state Labor has indicated it won't change the construction timeline.

"Others have talked about a rail line to Melbourne Airport for decades - the Andrews Labor government will get on and deliver it," a spokeswoman said.

A $15m lifeline for Netball Australia, announced on Monday, was one of the Victorian government's last official acts before entering caretaker mode.

Mr Guy has vowed to honour the contract but said he wouldn't have signed it.

"That $15 million could have paid for ... 750 knee replacements," he said.

Victorians will be able to apply for postal votes from Wednesday and cast ballots at early voting centres from November 14.

Electoral Commissioner Warwick Gately confirmed the Victorian Liberals have been cleared of illegally distributing postal vote applications.

"What was distributed was a pre-filled general postal voter application," he told ABC Radio.

"It was not a postal voting application. There is no rule preventing a party promoting an application to be a general postal voter."