14.09.2023Melbourne Airport Rail – policy brief
Committee for Melbourne has advocated for the Melbourne Airport Rail (MAR) project over many years, maintaining that a world-class service will support Melbourne’s efforts to remain a city of international significance.
The Committee called for the design and construction of a rail link between central Melbourne and Tullamarine Airport, via Sunshine, on the basis that it would deliver a fast, reliable, and competitive service, which unlocks broader benefits for Melbourne and Victoria.
The solution committed to by the Victorian and Commonwealth Governments does not fully align with our preferred concept. Its connection with the Metro Tunnel, where airport services will share rail tracks used by increasing passenger and freight services from Victoria’s expanding western regions, contrasts with our preference for dedicated airport rail services through a tunnel linking Sunshine and Southern Cross Station.
With MAR’s construction postponed, and the Commonwealth government’s commitment to $5 billion towards the project, the Committee encourages the re-evaluation of the proposed solution and consideration of an alternative model that ensures Melbourne and Victoria receive a world-class airport rail link.
If the project is commenced, the Committee has developed several recommendations based on four principles, to help ensure that the most effective and efficient MAR is delivered:
- Strongly consider constructing an underground airport station.
- Ensure efficient and comfortable access for MAR passengers traversing the airport station and its terminals.
- Reinstate the standard gauge platform at Sunshine Station.
- Arrange immediate consultation with Victoria’s freight and logistics industry to find a mutually positive solution for the MAR and the industry.
- The Victorian Government should release an integrated transport plan that includes land use and economic development planning, and which supports activities across all facets of freight and logistics.
- Create a formal, cross-departmental team and process for Sunshine development, made up of relevant senior ministers, bureaucrats and members of the community.
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