Tim Watts responds to Angela Altair on Melbourne Metro 2

It did not take long for Tim Watts to respond to Hobsons Bay Mayor Angela Altair who sought a pledge from all political parties contesting the Victorian State Election in November to build and operate the Melbourne Metro 2 rail project within ten years.

Choosing his words wisely, the Federal Member for Gellibrand said he looks forward to the Melbourne Metro 2 rail tunnel being delivered in the future, to cater for the fastest-growing region in Australia’s fastest-growing city.

“The need for long-term planning on infrastructure investment is particularly acute in Melbourne’s west. The population of Melbourne’s west has grown at twice the rate of the rest of Victoria during the last decade,” Mr Watts said.

“The rail lines serving Melbourne’s west have seen the highest growth in rail patronage of any lines in the state. Passenger numbers on the Werribee, Williamstown and Sunbury lines have increased by more than 100 per cent during the last decade.”

“We need to be doing the long-term planning now to ensure that the next big investments in expanding rail capacity to these corridors of rapid population growth are well in train before we again reach the crush point.”

“This is why it is important that detailed planning for Melbourne Metro 2 is happening now. Melbourne Metro 2 would create another Metro rail tunnel, connecting the Werribee line in Melbourne’s west via a tunnel from Newport to Fishermans Bend.”

“Experts argue that Melbourne Metro 2 could quadruple passenger rail capacity for the Werribee line corridor, creating a vital new link to the city for the area’s booming population.”

“The Melbourne Metro 2 rail tunnel could also free up capacity on other lines in the inner west, allowing much needed higher service frequencies on the Altona and Williamstown lines.”

“Infrastructure Victoria CEO Michel Masson has been calling for planning on the Melbourne Metro 2 tunnel to commence within 12 months. The Rail Futures Institute has argued the Melbourne Metro 2 rail tunnel should be built by 2030.”

“The Minister for Public Transport, for the state of Victoria, in parliament last week underlined that the design and delivery of the current Metro tunnel project would allow for future expansion of the underground network, including Melbourne Metro 2.”

“If we get to work on the difficult work of planning, surveying, soil testing and property acquisition for the Melbourne Metro 2 rail tunnel now, we could be in a position to start work on it immediately upon completion of the Melbourne Metro rail tunnel.”

“It’s important that detailed cost-benefit analysis of the Melbourne Metro 2 rail project is able to be undertaken in parallel with other major infrastructure investments planned in Victoria over the coming decade.”

“The Labor Government has shown long-term thinking in making allowances for the Melbourne Metro 2 in its existing rail construction and planning. I look forward to the Melbourne Metro 2 being delivered by this visionary government in the future.”

Melbourne Metro 2 would run from Melbourne’s northeast to Melbourne’s southwest, linking Clifton Hill Station with Newport via the CBD and Fishermans Bend, with additional services to be provided through Newport to the Wyndham/Werribee Corridor.

The rail project was initially unveiled as a recommendation in Victoria’s 30-Year Infrastructure Strategy, released in December 2016, and was more recently resurrected in City of Melbourne’s Transport Strategy Discussion Paper in March 2018.

The Mayor’s pledge for the Melbourne Metro 2 rail project is one of 42 priority commitments that Victorian councils, through the Municipal Association of Victoria, are seeking from all political parties contesting the state election in November.

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