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Melbourne's long-awaited rail line from the city to Tullamarine Airport looks set to take a detour via a western suburb.
Canberra provided $30 million for a business case on a link from the airport to the CBD in the May budget, and now Victoria has agreed to go ahead with it.
Victorian Public Transport Jacinta Allan says the study will consider sending the airport rail link through Sunshine to connect it to suburban and regional rail systems.
"We know from experience ... a point-to-point airport link funnel, if you like, does not provide the best service for passengers," Ms Allan told ABC radio on Thursday.
"Many regional trains already come in through a place like Sunshine... it gives people in the west a connection to the airport."
Ms Allan says she expects to see construction on the airport link well underway by the time the Metro tunnel project is finished in the CBD in 2026.
Federal Urban Infrastructure Minister Paul Fletcher says Melbourne has been missing a key rail link.
"A city of the scale and importance of Melbourne deserves such a connection and that's why the Turnbull government is getting this important process underway," he said.
But Victorian opposition public transport spokesman David Davis says the government's 10-year time frame is too slow and Melbourne is growing too fast to delay the project.
This article first appeared on www.sbs.com.au
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