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Melbourne's fabled airport rail line has again reared its head but the Victorian government has pledged to really make it happen this time.
Canberra provided $30 million for a business case on a link between the CBD and Tullamarine Airport in its May budget, and now Victoria has agreed to go along with the study.
The project would likely take a detour via Sunshine in Melbourne's west instead of going direct to the airport, Premier Daniel Andrews said.
"By the time the Metro Tunnel is completed (in 2026), construction will be well underway on an airport rail link," he told a Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry summit on Thursday.
"It can't just funnel tourists and business people out to the airport, between the CBD and the airport. It needs to be much more than that."
A rail link to Tullamarine has been planned, abandoned and put back on the agenda multiple times by both sides of politics for decades and there is no finish date for the latest proposal.
Mr Andrews late in 2016 said an airport rail link wasn't a top priority.
The rejuvenated plan is just one item on the Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry's lengthy wish list for the 2018 election.
Other transport requests include building the North East Link and full East West Link projects and finalising a site for Melbourne's third airport.
Federal Urban Infrastructure Minister Paul Fletcher said a city as large and important as Melbourne deserved to have an airport rail connection.
But Victoria's opposition Liberal leader Matthew Guy isn't buying the lines from the premier or federal coalition.
"Most Melburnians will say 'we've seen this announced for the last five times in 15 years by various governments with the same result'," he told the same business audience.
He later told journalists $30 million was a "microscopic" amount of money given the billions needed to actually build the project.
The Australian Industry Group wants to see the rail line link up with other metropolitan and regional train routes.
"There needs to be an independent evaluation of what is best for the state, not just for the airport," it said in a statement.
The government has also promised to look into a high-speed rail network to get passengers from Geelong to Melbourne in less than 40 minutes.
Mr Andrews acknowledged the idea of high-speed rail was "nothing more than a pipe dream" but would work to make it reality.
This article first appeared on www.sbs.com.au
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