Construction on Melbourne’s long-awaited airport rail link will commence in the next term of a re-elected Labor Government, the Victorian Premier has said.
Premier Daniel Andrews has committed up to $5 billion for the project, which matches the commitment from the Federal Government.
“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 in a statement.
The new rail link will travel through Melbourne’s western suburbs after an assessment showed this way to be the most efficient of the four routes considered.
The route, dubbed the Sunshine Alignment, will see the development of a new Sunshine Super Hub, which will also connect regional and metro train lines to the new airport link.
Through the transport hub, residents or regional cities including Geelong and Ballarat will be able to access the airport with just one change.
The rail ink project is expected to cost between $8 billion and $13 billion, with the Federal and State governments putting up $10 billion and the private sector the remaining amount.
According to the ABC, Victoria’s Minister for Public Transport Jacinta Allan said the government would ideally begin construction on the project in 2022, but that travellers might need to wait at least a decade before trains were up and running.
Details such as how long the train would take to get from the city to the airport and ticket pricing will be looked at in a separate business case.