Victoria Opposition Leader Ted Baillieu
Melbourne & Geelong To Get New Direct Rail Line To Avalon Airport
Victor P Taffa
A Victorian Liberal Nationals Coalition Government will commence building a new Rail Line to link Avalon Airport to Melbourne and Geelong and secure Avalon’s future as Victoria’s second International Airport.
Speaking at Avalon Airport today, Coalition Leader Ted Baillieu said the Coalition will make a $50 Million first term investment for design and planning, land acquisition, and preliminary construction works of the Rail Link.
“This Rail Link will allow Passengers to travel from Melbourne, Geelong or even Warrnambool by train direct to Avalon Airport and will support the Coalition’s Plan for Avalon as Victoria’s Second International Airport.” Mr. Baillieu said.
When complete the Link would include:
- Rail connections leaving the Melbourne to Geelong Rail Line between Little River and Lara Stations to allow trains from both Geelong and Southern Cross to travel to and from Avalon on a new single track Rail Line;
- Cuttings for the Link to Pass under Old Melbourne Road, Geelong Road (Princes Highway West) and Beach Road;
- A new Railway Station at Avalon;
- Dual Gauge Concrete Sleepers with provision for the future installation of a third Rail to enable Standard Gauge Freight Trains to access Avalon.
The Total Project Cost is expected to be in the vicinity of $250 Million and the Coalition will be working with the operators of Avalon Airport, as well as the Federal Government which owns the land, to share funding of the remaining $200 Million in accordance with Particular requirements associated with their design needs.
“The Coalition has led the way on making Avalon our second International Airport by committing more than two years ago to its development, and today’s announcement will mean more jobs, more money and more opportunities for Geelong and the Region.” Mr. Baillieu said.
“It will also mean more domestic and international flights for Victoria, generating greater competition and providing greater opportunities for our tourism operators.”
“Premier John Brumby has failed to support improvements or development at Avalon and has ignored the need to build for the future by opening up a Rail Link.” Mr. Baillieu said.
“A new international terminal at Avalon will see up to 2 Million passengers p.a. through the airport and this new rail link will provide improved access to the airport from across the state, allowing Melbourne-based travellers to skip the notorious traffic delays across the West Gate Bridge.”
“The development of Avalon Airport creates a huge opportunity for growth that will stretch far beyond Geelong, to the Bellarine Peninsula, Barwon and throughout Western Victoria.” Mr. Baillieu said.
“If we want to be serious about developing tourism and infrastructure in Victoria, then we need to be serious about building for the future.”
“That is why we are providing this rail link to Avalon Airport and it is also why we are beginning the planning for a rail link to Melbourne Airport.” Mr. Baillieu said.
Tiger Airways and Jetstar have already committed to ongoing operations at Avalon Airport but the airport is ideal to attract a host of international low cost carriers from Indonesia, India, Malaysia and the Philippines, that either have purchased or are planning to purchase suitable longer range aircraft.
Currently Victoria only attracts about 21 % of all international travellers arriving by air, compared to Sydney’s market share of 43 %.
The Coalition’s commitment to gaining a greater share of international tourists than Labor has achieved will mean stronger small businesses and more jobs.
Avalon has an important role to play in Victoria’s future and with the right Transport Infrastructure, including a Heavy Rail Link it can be a competitive, viable and attractive alternative to Melbourne Airport. The Coalition’s Plan will allow for growth in both the number of International visitors to Victoria, and the number of International and Domestic Airline Passengers.
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Under the provisions of the relevant Electoral Act responsibility for all election comment is assumed by Editor Victor P Taffa. The Registered office of The Southern Thunderer is at 4/69a Darvall Road, West Ryde NSW 2114.