12 April 2018

Melbourne Airport Rail Link to ease Victorian congestion, deliver economic growth


Joint media release with
The Hon. Malcolm Turnbull MP
Prime Minister

The Hon. Michael McCormack MP
Deputy Prime Minister
Minister for Infrastructure and Transport

The Hon. Paul Fletcher MP
Minister for Urban Infrastructure and Cities

The Turnbull Government will build the Melbourne Airport Rail Link, connecting the CBD and the airport for all Victorians and the 34 million people who use the airport every year.

Talk about a rail connection to the Melbourne Airport is as old as the airport itself but through a Commonwealth investment of $5 billion, this nationally significant project will now become reality.

The time for talk is over. There have been countless reviews, reports and recommendations but Melbourne is still waiting for a service almost all of the world's great cities take for granted.

This is a truly city-shaping project that will slash travel times, bust congestion, boost the Victorian economy and create thousands of new jobs.

Under our National Economic Plan, the Turnbull Government is investing record funding into infrastructure across Australia because it will help create the more and better paid jobs Australians rely on.

Our $5 billion congestion-busting investment will also help reduce the strain on the Tullamarine Freeway which is one of the busiest roads in Victoria, catering to up to 210,000 vehicles a day.

This is the rail link that Melbourne, Victoria and the millions of people who use the Airport every year demand and deserve.

There are several proposed routes which involve above-ground, underground and combined solutions.

We expect that the results of the business case process, which we initiated at the 2017-18 Budget, will soon provide a clearer picture on the best route, best mode of transport and cost of the project.

We are under no illusion that such a city-shaping project does not come cheap. That is why we are making such a significant commitment.

We want the Victorian Government to partner with us in a true 50:50 funding partnership to build and own this iconic piece of infrastructure. We also welcome the involvement of the private sector.

Melbourne is the nation's second busiest airport with forecasts indicating a throughput of 60 million passengers by 2030.

Sydney and Brisbane airports are connected to the city by rail and in Perth, an airport rail link is under construction.

A rail connection to Melbourne Airport will not only benefit airport users and employees, it also has the potential to provide significant additional benefits, depending upon the final route and design chosen, including;

  • Rail access to areas to the north and west of the airport, potentially allowing them to be opened up for housing release;
  • Improved connectivity to regional Victoria, particularly to the north and west of Melbourne;
  • New rail stations located between Melbourne and the airport; and
  • Freeing up the Tullamarine and Calder freeways, presently used by airport traffic.

For 50 years, Victorians have recognised the need for a rail line to the airport and the Turnbull Government will make sure it is delivered.

With this new investment, the Commonwealth now has $17.5 billion committed to transport infrastructure projects in Victoria - including the $3 billion put aside for the East West Link.