Victoria cannot afford to get Melbourne Airport Rail Link wrong

Victoria Tourism Industry Council

Melbourne’s Airport Rail Link is a once in a generation opportunity that Victoria cannot afford to get wrong.

An airport rail link that offers a dedicated rail line and underground tunnel is the only option to deliver the superior experience that visitors to Melbourne and Victoria expect.

To be viable, Melbourne’s Airport Rail Link must deliver a competitive alternative to other transport options. It must offer frequent and fast services at a reasonable price point, where trains depart at least every 10 minutes and the travel time significantly improves any current road journey into the city.

Any consideration of a service that does not operate on a dedicated line, and includes commuter stops between Sunshine and a CBD terminus, would fail to meet these three critical points in delivering a world-class airport to city service. Melbourne’s existing rail infrastructure is already at capacity and the airport rail service cannot be interrupted by delays across the wider commuter network. This project cannot be seen as the compromise answer to also solve commuter pressures on suburban lines.

A decision for any option other than a dedicated rail line and tunnel would worsen delays on existing lines. It would also jeopardise the future of fast train services to Geelong and Ballarat which are vital to support the extensive population growth projected for those western corridors.

The Melbourne Airport Rail Link is too important for the future of our state to be compromised by a constrained budget or competing priorities.

To be attributed to Victoria Tourism Industry Council Chief Executive Felicia Mariani:

“Melbourne and Victoria has a once-in-a-generation opportunity to get the airport train right and we need to seize this chance to build a service that caters for visitors to our great state into the next decade and beyond.

“Tourism’s economic contribution to Victoria is expected to grow to $36 billion a year by 2026. With more people choosing Melbourne and Victoria as their holiday destination, we must deliver world-class transport and other offerings to meet the demands of today’s global traveller.

“Melbourne promotes itself on the world stage alongside destinations like London, Paris, New York, Singapore and Tokyo. We need to deliver quality experiences at an international level if we want to continue positioning ourselves in this league.

“The State and Federal Governments are to be applauded for agreeing to collaborate on this critical project. After waiting as long as we have to arrive at this agreement, we cannot afford to deviate from the plan. It’s vital that we get this right for the long-term future growth of Victoria.”

/Public Release.