Victoria

Vic Govt. releases details of major transport projects

VICTORIAN Premier John Brumby this week released details of key Victorian Transport Plan projects, unveiling routes for the Regional Rail Link, Truck Action Plan and the Melbourne Metro rail tunnel.

Highlighting some of the government's current transport project achievements, including the delivery of new metropolitan trains, Melbourne Bike Share and commencement of works for the Peninsula Link and widening of the M80 Ring Road, Mr Brumby said the announcement was the next step.

"Today we take the next step on projects that form the centrepiece of our government's plan to improve transport, liveability and long-term economic development in Melbourne's west," Mr Brumby said on Monday.

Mr Brumby unveiled the locations of five new train stations as part of the Melbourne Metro Rail Tunnel (Stage One). The $4.5 billion project would include new stations at Queensberry Street in North Melbourne (Arden Metro Station), Parkville, two in the Melbourne CBD and one at Domain on St Kilda Road. The two new CBD stations will be connected to Melbourne Central and Flinders Street.

The new Arden Metro Station would pass directly under North Melbourne's industrial area. Provision of a new station in this part of North Melbourne would create significant redevelopment opportunities, with a construction value of $2 billion, and potentially accommodating 30,000 jobs, 12,000 residents and 12,000 students.

Stage One of the Melbourne Metro Rail Tunnel will connect Domain to Dynon, in Melbourne's west. Stage Two of the project, linking Domain to the Caulfield rail corridor, has been identified as a longer term initiative.

The release of details of the Melbourne Metro Rail Tunnel comes as Infrastructure Australia's recent report identified it as a priority project. Public Transport Minister, Martin Pakula, said the government is "seeking public comment on the preferred station locations before submitting its final proposal to the Federal Government for consideration."

The government also announced the alignment of the inner-city section of the $4.3 billion Regional Rail Link. Two new tracks will be constructed from Sunshine to Footscray at surface level which will largely be contained within the existing rail reservation. A new rail bridge will be built over the Maribrynong River.

Mr Pakula said that the plan to build within in the existing rail reservation has minimised the number of compulsory acquisitions in Footscray. However, approximately 193 properties in Footscray, Yarraville and the Melbourne port precinct will face compulsory acquisition.

The Regional Rail Link will allow regional trains travelling between Southern Cross Station and western Victoria to have their own dedicated line and will include the construction of two new station at Tarneit and Wyndham Vale.

Mr Brumby also released the final preferred alignment for the $380 million Truck Action Plan, which aims to reduce the number of trucks using residential streets in Melbourne's inner-west and improve access to the Port of Melbourne precinct.

Three route options for the $2.5 billion WestLink project were announced. Stage One of the project includes a road tunnel linking Dynon Road and Footscray Road in the Port of Melbourne precinct with Geelong Road and Sunshine Road in West Footscray. Stage 2 consists of a road connection to the Western Ring Road.

Mr Brumby said the release of the plans was a significant milestone for Melbourne's transport future and demonstrated the government's continued commitment to deliver the transport plan.

The Victorian Transport Plan was released by the Victorian Government in late 2008 and included over $38 billion worth of transport projects and initiatives. The plan aims to set clear strategic directions to 2020 and beyond.

More information on the above transport projects is available from the Department of Transport website at <http://www.transport.vic.gov.au/>.

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