The announcement said that the the city’s 100-year-old radial transport network – built to move people in and out of the central business district – can’t keep up with a rapidly growing Victoria. “Without action, demand on the network will grind our state to a halt,” it said. “The Suburban Rail Loop is the big, bold new project our state needs for the future.”
Premier Daniel Andrews said: “It’s not good enough to ‘extend’ the congestion, we need a plan that doesn’t just force more cars and commuters into the city. The Suburban Rail Loop will get people to where they want to go – and more people on public transport means less traffic on the road for you.”
Minister for public transport Jacinta Allan added: “The Suburban Rail Loop is the underground train system a growing Melbourne and Victoria needs – connecting every Victorian to jobs, education, hospitals and shopping without needing to change trains in the CBD.”
The plan is to invest AU$300m in a full business case, design and pre-construction works, with work on the first section in Melbourne’s south east expected to begin by the end of 2022.
Early planning and feasibility work, including identification of the project corridor, was undertaken by Development Victoria, PricewaterhouseCoopers, and the Office of the Coordinator General over the past 12 months.
It would take decades to complete the project, with the first sections expected to take around 10 years to construct.
Business case development, detailed design and community consultation would begin next year, with work on the first stage expected to begin by the end of 2022.