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Geelong’s mayor has moved to formally urge the government not to ditch plans for a new airport rail link tunnel between Melbourne and Sunshine — having already joined a chorus labelling its potential dumping a “s--t deal” for the region.
The multibillion-dollar airport rail link is expected to pave the way for high-speed trains to Geelong.
Mayor Stephanie Asher will today put forward a notice of motion to the council, warning the cities of Geelong and Wyndham were “seriously concerned” by reports the state government may ditch the tunnel, resulting in more trains on “already congested” tracks between Melbourne and Sunshine.
The calls come after claims from the Rail Futures Institute a tunnel could allow for trains to run every 10 minutes on the Geelong line.
The motion recommends the City of Greater Geelong advocates for the delivery of four connected projects of the Western Rail Plan “to meet unprecedented demand” on the train lines.
These include: TWO new electrified metropolitan rail lines through the western suburbs to growth areas in Melton and Wyndham Vale, separating them for the Geelong and Ballarat lines;
INCREASED track capacity between Sunshine and the CBD to cater for faster and more frequent trains;
MAJOR investment in the Geelong and Ballarat lines including the exploration of electrification of these lines and new fast electric regional trains; and,
CONNECTION of the Wyndham Vale and Werribee lines to provide increased transport choice, network resilience and capacity.
The Mayor’s motion also moves to urgently write to all local Federal MPs, calling to fast-track funding and planning for the duplication of the rail line between South Geelong and Waurn Ponds.
“The decision on the design of the Melbourne Airport Rail Link (MARL) will have long lasting impacts for both Wyndham and Geelong for improved rail services and the liveability of our regions,” Cr Asher said in her motion.
This article first appeared on www.geelongadvertiser.com.au
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