Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews announced that if re-elected, the Victorian Government would provide up to $5 billion towards the construction of a Melbourne Airport Rail Link.
The news follows the Federal Government’s announcement that it would commit $5 billion to the project if the state government matched it.
A route options assessment undertaken by Transport for Victoria has found four routes to be considered for the project.
The state government’s preferred route will see train travel from the CBD to the western suburb of Sunshine, before heading north and utilising both the Albion East rail reserve and sections of tunnel to protect homes and businesses, before connecting to Melbourne Airport.
A new Sunshine Super Hub will connect regional and metro train lines, including the Metro Tunnel, to the new airport link.
It will also aim to provide a faster regional rail service from Geelong and Ballarat, connected via Melbourne Airport.
New analysis produced as part of initial work on the Airport Rail Link Business Case shows that the Sunshine Route rated 4.3 out of five in the comparative analysis of routes, with a total cost in the range of $8-13 billion.
Private sector contributions will also play a part in the delivery of the project according to the Victorian Government.
The Federal Government was briefed on the outcome of the route options assessment earlier this month. Work is underway on the full business case which will be completed by Rail Projects Victoria in 2019.
“This project has been talked about for too long, it’s time to get on and build it and that’s exactly what we’ll do,” Mr Andrews said.
Victorian Minister for Public Transport Jacinta Allan said the airport link will be built via Sunshine so all Victorians can access the airport by rail, no matter where they live.
“Not only will this deliver fast train services to and from the airport, but it will pave the way for fast rail to Geelong and Ballarat,” she said.