Airport Rail Link becomes a reality
Victorians are set to benefit from the long-awaited Melbourne Airport Rail Link - with the Victorian and Commonwealth governments formally signing off on the project.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews announced the agreement on March 14, which sets out the strategic objectives, governance arrangements and information sharing processes for the $10 billion joint commitment.
A project team will be established to develop a full business case for the project to integrate with the Melbourne Metro, the future Suburban Rail Loop and pave the way for fast rail to regions including Geelong, Ballarat and Bendigo.
The missing link will connect communities and give Victorians choice – delivering a new super-hub at Sunshine, reducing congestion on the freeway to the airport and unlocking capacity for the growing population in Melbourne’s north-west.
Melbourne Airport is a key contributor to Victoria’s economic growth and by 2038, passenger movements are expected to reach more than 67 million annually.
Rail Projects Victoria has engaged expert advisers for the project who are preparing for ecological, traffic and geotechnical investigations.
The business case will be delivered by 2020 and will assess station and procurement options, value capture and creation opportunities, and economic analysis.
A reference group will also be established to consult with community, industry and local government representatives.
The Victorian and Federal governments have committed up to $5 billion each to deliver the missing link.
The total cost of the project is estimated to be in the range of $8-13 billion.
Construction will take up to nine years and is due to commence in 2022.