A BUSINESS case outlining the feasibility of a rail link to Melbourne Airport is expected to be delivered by September and public transport minister Jacinta Allan will push for it to include regional connections.
Ms Allan and federal minister for urban infrastructure and cities Paul Fletcher met in Bendigo last week and were briefed by state and federal officials as to its progress.
The initial business case is expected to be handed down by September for the project, which has seen a $5 billion commitment from the federal government.
Ms Allan said “Bendigo is always going to be part of these plans from my point of view” but emphasised the need to leverage both regional and metro connections through the capacity unlocked by the new metro tunnel.
“This is a really – it’s quite a unique opportunity that we have to plan an airport rail link in a way that leverages other benefits,” she said.
“The public transport system where we know we need to make future investments in our suburban and regional network, but also to make sure that we’re providing and open up new access to public transport services to more Victorians.”
Mr Fletcher said a decision on the preferred route would be made after the business case was finalised.
The four potential routes include two involving tiunneling through Maribyrnong, one using existing tracks on the busy Craigieburn line and one via an interchange at Sunshine on the Sunbury line.
– Joel Peterson