Turnbull backs Melbourne Airport Rail Link

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has committed $5bn to build an airport rail link in Melbourne; expects project to be delivered in partnership with Victoria and private sector

The proposed project will connect Melbourne with the central business district, with the business case to be published soon.  It is to be the single biggest infrastructure project in the May Budget.

Turnbull expects the Victorian Government to match the funding and welcomed the involvement of the private sector.

“We look forward to, as we go through this process, working with the State Government. You will get lots of submissions from citizens and local government. You will get submissions from the private sector about how they can play a role,” Turnbull told a press conference.

Industry body Infrastructure Partnerships Australia (IPA) has welcomed the announcement.

IPA Chief Executive Officer Adrian Dwyer said:  “Major rail projects like the connection to Melbourne Airport cannot be paid for by ticket charges alone, so the key detail will be how much hard dollar funding is allocated in May’s Federal Budget.

“Last year’s Federal Budget reduced infrastructure funding levels, so this is a very welcome sign that the Federal Government may be set to reverse that trend from 2018,” Dwyer added.

Meanwhile, Transurban has successfully raised $954m of debt via a new bank debt facility with a tenor of 18 months to refinance the AirportlinkM7 in Brisbane.