[Victorian Government Media Release]
SOIL and engineering testing works on the Melbourne Metro project could start before the end of the year with the Premier John Brumby today revealing concept designs of stations and opportunities for urban renewal.
Mr Brumby said Stage 1 of the Melbourne Metro project, at a cost of more than $4.5 billion, announced in the $38 billion Victorian Transport Plan, would add capacity for thousands more passengers on the suburban rail network and shape the future growth of the CBD and inner Melbourne.
"Stage 1 of the Melbourne Metro will run from Dynon to Domain (St Kilda Road) and today I am announcing that we are seeking engineers and technical designers to examine the possible alignment of the new rail tunnel," Mr Brumby said.
"We are building a better transport system, so people can spend more time with family and less time commuting.
"The new tunnel will go via Parkville and provide rail access to Melbourne University and this important education and medical hub for the first time with train services capable of moving 12,000 passengers every hour.
"A new Parkville station would serve the thousands of tertiary students and heath care workers in the area and provide a seamless link from the inner west to the St Kilda Road precinct.
"Stations could also be constructed or redeveloped between Footscray and Parkville, the CBD, South Melbourne and Domain."
Mr Brumby said in his report, Sir Rod Eddington found that central Melbourne would continue to be a large generator of jobs but said a future CBD would include Parkville, Southbank, St Kilda Road and the inner-west including Footscray.
"The proposed Melbourne Metro route creates a link through these hubs connecting the growing inner west, to North Melbourne and the educational and biomedical precinct at Parkville to the CBD and the expanding services industry along St Kilda Road," he said.
"This project will not only add capacity on our rail network, it will help shape and define inner Melbourne, expanding the reach of the CBD, creating jobs and revitalising the inner west."
Public Transport Minister Lynne Kosky said the call for tenders signalled another step in the transformation of Melbourne's rail network.
"We are planning for the future and work is already underway to change our suburban train system to a modern, metro, mass transit train network," Ms Kosky said.
"I am delighted to say we are now starting the first stage of what will be a massive infrastructure project which will create thousands of jobs and shape the growth of inner Melbourne."
Construction on Melbourne Metro is expected to start in 2012 and the Victorian Government will be seeking Commonwealth funding for the more than $4.5 billion project.
Source: Premier of Victoria <http//www.premier.vic.gov.au/media-releases/>.