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PRESSURE is growing on the Andrews Government to build a Melbourne airport rail link, with a key Labor union pushing for the project to be endorsed by the party’s state conference.
The Rail, Tram and Bus Union says that the “long-awaited” new line was needed because traffic to the airport was set to double in the next two decades.
The fresh push comes after Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull set up a $10 billion national infrastructure fund and said the Tullamarine project could tap into that.
A business case is set to be developed by the state government, with $30 million offered by the Commonwealth.
Mr Turnbull recently described the lack of an airport rail link in Melbourne as an “omission”.
RTBU branch secretary Luba Grigorovitch urged the Andrews Government to build the much needed rail link.
Rail Tram and Bus Union secretary Luba Grigorovitch. Picture: Ian Currie“Victorians are sick of waiting for a project that should have been delivered in the 1990s,” Ms Grigorovitch said.
The RTBU would stand to increase its membership base if a new rail line were created, and had long supported augmenting the current network.
The Andrews Government has played down the project’s urgency, pointing to advice from Infrastructure Victoria that it would be needed within the next 15 to 30 years and would cost up to $5 billion.
In the state Budget, the state government pledged $10 million in funding to conduct a “detailed assessment” of the best route for the rail link, its estimated cost, and how best to pay for it.
Melbourne airport spokeswomen Kelly Hornsey said the company supported an airport rail link.
This article first appeared on www.heraldsun.com.au
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