Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has announced AUD5bn ($3.9bn) for the Melbourne Airport Rail Link that will connect the Central Business District (CBD) and the airport.
The federal government urged the Victorian government to partner with it in a 50:50 funding partnership to build the project.
Turnbull said: “What we’re putting to the state government is we will own and build the rail link together as partners. We’d invest up to $5bn for a 50% share.”
The rest is expected to come from the private sector.
Under the National Economic Plan, the Turnbull government is investing in infrastructure across Australia to help create the more and better paid jobs for Australians.
Melbourne is the second busiest airport in Australia, with 34 million people using the airport every year and forecasts indicate an increase to 60 million passengers by 2030.
The Melbourne Airport Rail Link project is expected to cut down travel times, reduce congestion, boost the Victorian economy and create thousands of new jobs.
The $5bn Commonwealth investment will also help reduce the strain on the Tullamarine Freeway, one of the busiest roads in Victoria, catering to up to 210,000 vehicles a day.
The Prime Minister said that the construction is likely to commence shortly after 2020.
Turnbull said even though four routes had been proposed, a preferred route is not yet finalised.
Sydney and Brisbane airports are connected to Melbourne by rail and in Perth, an airport rail link is under construction.
In addition to benefiting airport users and employees, a rail connection to Melbourne Airport will also provide additional benefits, including rail access to areas north and west of the airport; improved connectivity to regional Victoria, particularly to the north and west of Melbourne; new rail stations between Melbourne and the airport; and freeing up the Tullamarine and Calder freeways, currently used by airport traffic.
With the latest investment, the Commonwealth has AUD17.5bn ($13.63bn) committed to transport infrastructure projects in Victoria, including the AUD3bn ($2.34bn) for the East West Link.