Melbourne Gets A$14 Billion Rail Boost to Airport Connectivity


A new rail line linking Melbourne’s airport with the center of Australia’s second-largest city was announced Saturday as part of A$14 billion ($10.2 billion) in new infrastructure projects.

The governments of Australia and the state of Victoria have committed A$5 billion each in funding for the route, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said in an emailed statement. They’ll commit another A$2 billion apiece on a project to better connect Melbourne with the city of Geelong.

Melbourne this year endured Australia’s worst coronavirus outbreak, triggering a three-month lockdown that lifted two weeks ago. The city is the capital of Victoria state, which accounts for about one quarter of Australia’s gross domestic product.

“The airport link is a nationally significant project and Victorians have been waiting a long time for it to become a reality,” Morrrison said. “When complete, the link will slash travel times, bust congestion and be a major boost to the economy.”

The project will connect Victoria’s regional and metropolitan rail networks to the airport for the first time. It’s expected to start in 2022, be completed by 2029 and support as many as 8,000 jobs, Morrison said.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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