Melbourne’s Long Awaited Airport Rail Link Officially Shelved Again

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Melbourne’s long-awaited airport rail link construction has paused again, with new contracts unable to be signed until the results of a national review of the country’s infrastructure pipeline.

The Andrews government confirmed that the $1.3 billion airport rail link project would be temporarily halted, and workers might be redeployed to other government projects while the review took place.

The future of the project remained in doubt along with other projects like upgrades of Clyde, McGregor and Racecourse roads.

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Premier Daniel Andrews guaranteed that no one would lose their jobs. “We apologise if that’s inconvenient in any way, but that work has to be done.” 

He suggested that the move by the federal government to freeze the signing of the contracts during the 90-day review was perfectly logical.

Deputy Premier Jacinta Allan said in a statement that states were informed that no new contracts to progress works could be entered into during the review period, without express permissions of the Commonwealth government.

“That means projects that are moving from early works packages cannot move to the next phase of works for the review period,” Ms Allan said.

“To ensure certainty for workers during this time, they may be temporarily redeployed to other Big Build sites where their skills and experience are useful for major works while the review is underway.”

The project was initially scheduled for completion by 2029, and it aimed to establish new stations and a sky rail bridge, connecting Melbourne city to Tullamarine.

The federal and Victoria governments have previously pledged five billion each towards the project, with an estimated total cost ranging between eight billion and $13 billion.

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Caitlin Duan

18 May 2023

Article by:

Caitlin Duan

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