Melbourne Airport Rail Link (MARL) is set to become a reality, with the Victorian and Commonwealth Governments formally signing off on the project.
Photo: Fiji Times
Last Month Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews announced the signing of an agreement to set out the strategic objectives, governance arrangements and information sharing processes for the $10 billion joint commitment.
Prime Minister Morrison said the people of Melbourne and Victoria had been waiting far too long for the rail link to become a reality.
“In last year’s Budget we made a $5 billion investment in the Melbourne Airport Rail Link, it was the biggest infrastructure commitment in the Budget,” he said.
A project team will be established to drive the development of a full Business Case for the project, which will not only connect Melbourne Airport to the rail network for the first time, but also integrate it with the Metro Tunnel and the future Suburban Rail Loop, paving the way for fast-rail to regional areas.
The rail link will follow the Sunshine route, ensuring all Victorians can benefit from the rail link, including people living in Geelong, Ballarat and Bendigo.
Melbourne Airport is a key part of Victoria and Australia’s economic growth. In 2016-17, it handled more than 35 million passenger movements. By 2038 that is expected to almost double to more than 67 million, as Victoria’s population continues to grow and demand increases.
Melbourne Airport Rail Link will alleviate congestion on the main road connection to the airport, the Tullamarine Freeway, and unlock capacity for the growing population in Melbourne’s north-west.
Early market engagement on the MARL attracted submissions from more than 100 local and global organisations. Further market sounding will be undertaken to assess equity partners, private sector involvement, financing arrangements and other matters.
The Business Case will be delivered by 2020 and will assess station and procurement options, value capture and creation opportunities, and economic analysis of the recommended solution.