Brimbank Council has welcomed the State Government’s announcement of the new Footscray Priority Precinct as a further sign of the development of the west, supported by fast, efficient and dedicated airport rail service for travellers from the CBD and regional Victoria via Sunshine.
Brimbank Mayor, Cr Georgina Papafotiou said Council would write to the Federal Minister for Urban Infrastructure, Alan Tudge and Victorian Minister for Transport Infrastructure, the Hon Jacinta Allan to reiterate that an efficient and fast rail link to the airport remains a key priority.
‘There’s a lot of discussion currently about how the Melbourne Airport Rail will be developed.
‘We believe a Melbourne Airport Rail that offers a direct express service from the CBD to the airport, via a stop at Sunshine is still the best option – for travellers from the CBD as well as from regional Victoria.
‘The whole point of building the Melbourne Airport Rail is to provide a much needed dedicated fast service that will get airport users to and from Melbourne Airport quickly and conveniently.
‘We believe the top priority is that the rail service facilitates smooth and quick rail travel to and from the airport for everyone using it.
‘Earlier this year Council undertook a study trip to Sydney to learn more about place-making around large pieces of infrastructure.
‘A key learning from the Sydney Airport Rail was that it’s best that travellers are not made to catch crowded suburban trains when getting to and from the airport as it can be a slow and unreliable process.
‘Council has an ongoing interest in seeing a fast efficient airport rail link in place with a stop at the Sunshine Super Hub, which has enormous potential to deliver jobs, education and positive transformative change to Brimbank and beyond.
‘We’re hopeful that the Federal and State governments will consider our local as well as regional priorities as part of the final design process for the Melbourne Airport Rail,’ Cr Papafotiou said.
Strategically located to integrate with the Melbourne Airport Rail, the Western Rail Plan and the Suburban Rail Loop; Sunshine is poised to become the capital of Melbourne’s west.
The key to maximising the economic and social opportunities associated with the Sunshine Super Hub is to ensure frequent and efficient stopping of the MAR between Melbourne Airport, Sunshine and the CBD and regional centres of Geelong, Ballarat and Bendigo.
This will ensure regional Victorians have fair access to the Airport Rail, and ensure the Sunshine Super Hub becomes an economic and jobs driver for the Sunshine Priority Precinct and the wider western region.
Brimbank Council has previously welcomed both the Victorian Premier’s $5 billion commitment to the Melbourne Airport Rail Link with a route through Sunshine, along with the Federal Government’s $5 billion pledge towards realising the project.
Council has been working proactively since the announcement of the MAR via Sunshine, to prepare to leverage the benefits of the record infrastructure investment coming to this area for the people of Brimbank and the greater western region.
Council’s 2020 Transforming Brimbank Agenda outlines how the Federal Government, State Government, Non-Government sectors and Council can all collaborate to leverage this record investment to create job, education, health and social outcomes for the region for decades to come.
This includes developing a Response Strategy aimed at optimising the benefits of the Western Rail Plan, conducting Building Brimbank community consultation on key infrastructure projects for the area, and developing Urban Design Principles for key rail areas such as the Sunshine Station Super Hub and the Deer Park Rail Corridors.