Air­port link could help us take off

McIvor Times - - NEWS -

RE­GIONAL Ci­ties Vic­to­ria (RCV) has called on state and fed­eral gov­ern­ments to en­sure the pro­posed Air­port Rail Link pro­vides con­nec­tions to ar­eas like Heath­cote in re­gional Vic­to­ria.

RCV chair Mar­garet O’Rourke said the project was a unique op­por­tu­nity to un­lock faster and more fre­quent ser­vices to re­gional ci­ties.

‘‘RCV has long ad­vo­cated for an Air­port Rail Link and we wel­come the fed­eral gov­ern­ment’s re­cent fund­ing com­mit­ment to­wards the project,’’ Cr O’Rourke said.

‘‘The Air­port Rail Link has the po­ten­tial to be a truly trans­for­ma­tive project for Vic­to­ria.

‘‘It must be seen as much more than just a con­nec­tion be­tween Tul­la­ma­rine and the Melbourne CBD— it’s a project that can bring enor­mous ben­e­fits for the whole of Vic­to­ria, par­tic­u­larly re­gional ci­ties.’’

Cr O’Rourke called on the state and fed­eral gov­ern­ments to en­sure the route of the Air­port Rail Link in­cor­po­rated con­nec­tion to re­gional ci­ties.

‘‘De­liv­er­ing high-speed rail to re­gional Vic­to­ria is achiev­able through the Air­port Rail Link,’’ she said.

‘‘We must cap­i­talise on this once-ina-gen­er­a­tion project by en­sur­ing air­port rail is con­nected to the wider V/Line net­work.

‘‘We’ve seen a num­ber of op­tions put for­ward re­gard­ing po­ten­tial routes, in­clud­ing di­rect tun­nels un­der Melbourne.

‘‘Let’s be clear: the route must con­nect into the re­gional net­work and the best way to do this is via a new train hub at Sun­shine, which would link to our ma­jor re­gional cen­tres.

‘‘If the right route is se­lected, this project has po­ten­tial to change the way peo­ple live and work in re­gional Vic­to­ria.

‘‘It will go a long way to help­ing re­bal­ance the state’s pop­u­la­tion from Melbourne to our re­gions.’’

Re­gional Ci­ties Vic­to­ria chair Mar­garet O’Rourke.

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