Works have begun on the 4.5 kilometre City to Maribyrnong River section of the multi-billion dollar Regional Rail Link, Melbourne’s first new major rail line in more than 80 years.
Federal Member for Gellibrand Nicola Roxon joined Victorian Public Transport Minister Terry Mulder in Footscray to turn the first sod on this important package of works.
“The Gillard Government is investing in our future by partnering with the Victorian Government to build Australia’s largest public transport infrastructure project to service our regional centres and Melbourne’s growing population in the north and west,” Ms Roxon said.
“Melbourne has not seen a new line constructed since the Glen Waverley line which opened on 5 May 1930, when Melbourne had a population of just over one million. Now that it has grown to four million, the state’s infrastructure needs to grow to match it.
“This project is a key pillar of Labor’s Nation Building Program and will significantly improve the frequency and reliability of services for passengers on the Geelong, Bendigo and Ballarat lines.
“Today’s announcement will deliver more jobs to the local construction industry and once complete, the Regional Rail Link will attract employers, workers and visitors into the vibrant Footscray Activities District.”
Mr Mulder said the Regional Rail Link will improve the reliability of both regional and metropolitan trains, by allowing regional trains to travel on dedicated tracks between West Werribee Junction and Deer Park and then from Sunshine to the city.
“The Regional Rail Link will provide links between people’s homes and places of education and work, and will allow our state to continue to thrive,” Mr Mulder said.
“The city to Maribyrnong River section will untangle the rail network as trains approach the city, allowing thousands more passengers to travel every day on more reliable trains.”
An alliance of the Regional Rail Link Authority, Metro, V/Line, John Holland, Abigroup, Coleman Rail, AECOM and GHD are working together to deliver this section of the project.
“Regional Rail Link is extremely important, not just for Melbourne’s transport network, but for Victoria’s economy as a whole,” Mr Mulder said.
“2,900 direct jobs and 2,700 indirect jobs are expected as part of the Regional Rail Link project, a total of 5,600 jobs.”
The project will be delivered in six major packages of work and is expected to be complete in 2016. It is jointly funded by the Federal and Victorian Governments with the Federal Labor Government contributing $3.225 billion.