Avalon Airport Rail Link reaches environmental planning milestone

Source: Victorian Government - http://premier.vic.gov.au/media-centre/media-releases.htm 

04 January 2014

The Avalon Airport Rail Link has now reached the formal environmental planning stage, Minister for Public Transport Terry Mulder said today.  

Mr Mulder said he had referred the project to the Minister for Planning to determine whether and Environmental Effects Statement was required as part of the planning process.   

“The environmental planning requirements of major public transport projects, like the Avalon Rail Link, are an important part of getting the project right and getting it ready to go,” Mr Mulder said.  

“The aim of the Victorian Coalition Government’s Avalon Airport Rail Link is both to improve options for people travelling from Geelong and Melbourne, and to secure the airport’s future as our second international airport.”  

Mr Mulder said the project being referred included:

Once the Planning Minister makes his determination and the state’s planning and environmental approval requirements are known, consultation with the Commonwealth Government can begin on its environmental requirements.  

“The Victorian Coalition Government has already acted speedily to secure the future of Avalon Airport," Mr Mulder said.   

“We have been heavily engaged with the airport and have had ongoing discussions for months.”   

Mr Mulder said that through an agreement with Qantas and Linfox, the Government had secured the future until April 2015 of Jetstar's four daily return flights between Avalon and Sydney and one daily return flight between Avalon and Brisbane.   

"Avalon has handled more than four million passengers. It is a vital link to the east coast of Australia for Geelong, Surf Coast, western and south-western Victorian residents as well as Melburnians living in the western suburbs."   

Mr Mulder said that the Victorian Coalition Government was continuing to plan for improved transport links to Avalon.   

"Victoria must continue to have two curfew free major airports, compared with Sydney's sole curfew affected major airport," Mr Mulder said.   

"The Government previously committed $5.1 million for the Avalon Airport rail link planning study, seeking to identify a preferred route. The study is well advanced with documentation being prepared to go on public exhibition in 2014."  

Mr Mulder said the Victorian Coalition Government’s commitment to Avalon airport was in stark contrast to the Opposition’s, which has no interest in Avalon or Geelong.  

“Labor’s silence on Avalon is deafening,” Mr Mulder said.  

“Not surprisingly, Labor’s unfunded transport plan does not even mention Avalon, or any projects for Geelong at all.”

 

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