Tuesday, 28 August 2018

A re-elected Andrews Labor Government will embark upon the biggest transformation of public transport in Australia’s history, with a new underground rail network set to circle Melbourne connecting every major regional train line from the Geelong line to the Gippsland line through Melbourne Airport.

Regional Victorian passengers will be big winners thanks to regional super-hubs included in the project at Clayton, Broadmeadows and Sunshine providing better access to jobs, education and health services outside the CBD – with 200,000 vehicles also forecast to be removed from our major roads.

This will build upon the Labor Government’s $1.75 billion Regional Rail Revival plans that are upgrading every regional passenger line in the state.

No longer will people living in Gippsland have to travel through the centre of Melbourne to access world-class education and health services, including Deakin and La Trobe Universities and major hospitals including Box Hill and the Austin hospitals’, alongside a direct connection to Melbourne Airport.

Regional rail users from Gippsland will also be one stop away from the Monash health, education and employment precinct via a regional super hub in Clayton, providing the connection rail users need.

In the last four years, the Andrews Labor Government has embarked upon the biggest transport building program ever – removing level crossings, fixing regional train lines, investing in regional roads, and building big new road and rail tunnels to free up space on the existing network.

Across the Gippsland and Bairnsdale lines this has included additional services, $9 million to upgrade stations and car parks, better bus routes and shelter upgrades throughout the Latrobe Valley and getting on with the $530 million Gippsland Line Upgrade.

The Suburban Rail Loop is the big, bold new project our state needs for the future – Labor’s vision for a modern, connected transport network that will continue to make Victoria great and help connect.

The project will create up to 12 new underground train stations, linking into every existing major suburban and regional line. Modelling projects strong patronage in both directions throughout the day, with 400,000 trips a day by 2051 set to make it Victoria’s busiest rail line – alongside creating 20,000 jobs.

Labor will invest an initial $300 million in a full business case, planning and pre-construction works, with work on the first sections in Melbourne’s south east between Cheltenham and Box Hill, which includes the Clayton regional super-hub, to begin by 2022.

A re-elected Labor Government will also provide up to $5 billion towards the construction of the Melbourne Airport Rail Link, matching a commitment from the Federal Government. This will enable the Sunshine and the Melbourne Airport section of the Suburban Rail Loop to get under way by 2022.

Exact station locations, route alignment, rolling stock, and staging will be confirmed through the full business case and technical work, including extensive consultation and environmental assessments.

A project of this massive scale – amongst the largest in the world – will be built over multiple decades, with the first sections expected to take around a decade of construction. State, Commonwealth and private sector contributions, as well as value capture opportunities, will be required to fund the project.

Business case development, detailed design and community consultation will commence in 2019, with work on the first stage expected to begin by the end of 2022.

Quote attributable to Minister for Public Transport Jacinta Allan

“This is the underground train system a growing Victoria needs – connecting all Victorians to jobs, education, hospitals and shopping without needing to change trains in the CBD.”

Quotes attributable to Member for Eastern Victoria Harriet Shing

“This is really positive news for Gippslanders – this long-term project builds on the current $530 million Gippsland line upgrade, the removal of all level crossings between Dandenong and the city, new signalling and high capacity trains, and when complete, it will give future rail users much better and faster access to the entire rail network.”

“Whether it’s accessing Metro Tunnel services at Pakenham or boarding a direct link to the airport via the Clayton regional super-hub, a re-elected Andrews Government will deliver transport services that meet the needs of our rapidly population, and greatly reduce the time required to get to other parts of the network.”