The Australian Government has committed up to $5 billion towards the construction of a rail link from Melbourne Airport to the Melbourne CBD. This funding, to be equally matched by the Victorian Government, will ensure this long awaited, nationally significant project can be delivered.
The Australian Government understands the importance of being an active and informed investor, which is why its commitment is being informed through the development of a comprehensive business case. The business case will identify a preferred route, determine the location of stations and future operating requirements, and develop a funding and financing strategy. The Australian Government wishes to maximise the level of private sector investment in the project, which is why innovative funding and financing options, such as the use of value capture, will be consider as part of the business case.
Melbourne Airport is the nation’s second busiest, handling 34 million passengers in 2016. Melbourne Airport is expecting strong growth with passenger numbers expected to rise to 60 million by 2030. Currently, motorists travelling on the Tullamarine Freeway between the M80 Ring Road and Melbourne Airport experience congestion, causing frequent delays and unpredictable travel times. The Tullamarine Freeway currently carries 210,000 vehicles per day in its busiest section.
A rail link to Melbourne Airport is considered critical to the effective future functioning of Melbourne and its development as an integrated, international city. A rail link to Melbourne Airport will also provide a fast and reliable service to passengers and commuters travelling between Melbourne Airport and the Melbourne CBD. A rail link to Melbourne Airport also has the potential to unlock north-west regional Victoria and may open up new areas for affordable housing around Melbourne Airport and north-west Melbourne.
The Australian Government committed up to $5 billion towards construction of a rail link to Melbourne Airport. This funding is to be equally matched by the Victorian Government. The Australian Government has allocated up to $2.5 billion from the National Rail Program and up to $2.5 billion from the Infrastructure Investment Program. This funding is in addition to the $30 million previously committed by the Australian Government to develop the business case.
The business case commenced in November 2017. The business case is expected to be completed in 2019 or 2020. Construction timeframes for the project will be determined as part of the business case.