A review into the proposed Melbourne Airport Rail Link has found that the project is “viable and necessary”, and importantly, has recommended that the airport train station be located above ground. 

The report was tabled by mediator Neil Scales, who was appointed to determine if a resolution is possible between the Victorian Government and the operator of Melbourne Airport, APAM, as to the location of the station. 

APAM has been advocating for an underground train station, while the State Government has pushed for an above ground station. 

Mr Scales recommended against further federal and state consideration of an underground option at this time. Should APAM wish to progress with the option of an underground station, Mr Scales recommended that they produce a suitable and comprehensive business case, so that key stakeholders can examine the proposal in detail. 

The report recommended that the Federal and Victorian Governments proceed with “no regrets” work at Sunshine Station to transform it into a major transport hub and capitalise on the early works already completed for the Melbourne Airport Rail Link. 

The Federal Government will commence discussions with the Victorian Government on the proposal to upgrade capacity at Sunshine Station, with funding to be formally considered once costs and scope are finalised. 

The report also recommended that refreshed modelling work be undertaken on the timeline for capacity of Tullamarine Freeway.  

Federal Minister for Infrastructure, Catherine King, said, “We have shared the report with both parties, and my department has offered to provide further briefings on the report’s findings. 

“We encourage the parties to consider the report recommendations and to work constructively together to determine next steps to progress this important project.” 

Image: TK Kurikawa/shutterstock.com 

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