Agreement for Melbourne Airport Rail Link signed off

The Victorian and Commonwealth Governments have signed the Heads of Agreement for the Melbourne Airport Rail Link (MARL), setting out strategic objectives, governance arrangements and information sharing processes for the $10 billion joint commitment.

The State and Federal Governments have committed up to $5 billion each to deliver MARL. The total cost of the project is estimated to be in the range of $8-13 billion, with construction to take up to nine years and due to commence in 2022.

The Business Case will be delivered by 2020 and will assess station and procurement options, value capture and creation opportunities, and economic analysis of the recommended solution.

A project team will be established to drive the development of a full Business Case for the project, which will connect Melbourne Airport to the rail network and integrate it with the Metro Tunnel and the future Suburban Rail Loop.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said that by choosing the Sunshine route, “we are ensuring all Victorians can benefit from the rail link, including people living in Geelong, Ballarat and Bendigo. As we complete the business case, we’re also doing the work needed to deliver fast rail to the regions.”

In 2016/17, Melbourne Airport handled more than 35 million passenger movements and by 2038, it is expected to almost double to more than 67 million, as Victoria’s population continues to grow and demand increases.

Planning and development of the MARL Business Case is already underway. Rail Projects Victoria has engaged expert technical and commercial advisers for the project and ecological, traffic and geotechnical investigations have begun.

Early market engagement on the MARL attracted submissions from more than 100 local and global organisations. Further market sounding will be undertaken to assess equity partners, private sector involvement, financing arrangements and other matters.

A reference group including community, industry and local government representatives will be established to provide guidance and feedback to the project team as the Business Case is developed.

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