Discussions begin on business case for Melbourne Airport rail link

AUSTRALIAN Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester and Minister for Urban Infrastructure Paul Fletcher last week joined state representatives to meet with industry and local government to discuss the Melbourne Airport rail link business case.

The Australian Government has allocated $30 million in the Federal Budget to develop the business case, which Mr Chester said would look at potential corridors for the rail link, existing and future rail upgrades across the metropolitan network, and proposals from private industry.

Melbourne Airport
Above: Melbourne Airport / by Michael Coghlan.

"The Australian Government is delivering a record $20 billion investment in rail. We are getting on with the job of delivering this vital rail link between Australia's second busiest airport and the city with $30 million already set aside in the Budget," Mr Chester said.

Mr Fletcher said planning work on the project was part of the Australian Government's record $75 billion investment in infrastructure, with the airport link set to benefit local communities as well as airport travellers.

"Melbourne Airport rail is a missing link in the urban transport network in Victoria. Sydney has a rail connection between the airport and the city, Brisbane has one, Perth is building one—a city of the scale and importance of Melbourne deserves such a connection and that's why the Turnbull Government is getting this important process underway," Mr Fletcher said.

The study will build on previous studies to examine potential transport improvements for Melbourne Airport, along with new detailed transport planning and analysis.

According to the Ministers, the business case will ensure the Melbourne Airport Rail Link:

  • Addresses network pressures in and around Melbourne, including population growth and increasing congestion;
  • Ensures financial and economic sustainability of the rail link;
  • Maximises benefits for passengers through frequent and reliable services and improved amenity; and
  • Integrates the rail link into the urban and transport network.

The business case will be delivered in two stages, with a preliminary business case to be completed in 2018 for consideration by both governments, ahead of a detailed business case being prepared on the preferred alignment.

Photo: Melbourne Airport / Michael Coghlan / Licensed under Creative Commons BY-SA 2.0 / Photo has been cropped and rotated.

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