Victoria has called for registrations of interest from private investors along with rail construction firms to help finance the AUD 10bn (USD 7bn) Melbourne Airport rail line.
Premier Daniel Andrews and Minister for Public Transport Jacinta Allan on Wednesday (12 September) launched the “global” registrations of interest process, calling for sponsors, investors or financiers as well as designers, engineers, rail systems providers and rolling stock providers.
Government agency Rail Projects Victoria is leading the ROI process. The government has said it will begin the full procurement process if it wins government at the November state election.
The federal and state governments have committed up to AUD 5bn each to the line, with construction expected to start in 2022. The full cost has been estimated at somewhere between AUD8bn-13bn, however the business case is not yet complete.
It is understood both governments are keen to see private money reduce the government outlays.
Initially, the line is set to travel from the city centre via a new “super hub” at Sunshine to the airport. But the preferred plan is for it to then be extended north of the airport and south of the city to regional centres.
It will also form the north-western section of the recently announced AUD 50bn Suburban Rail Loop.
“The search is on to find the best providers to develop a world-class airport rail link – that won’t only connect the CBD and the airport but deliver massive benefits to regional Victoria,” Allan said in a statement.
The ROI documents say market led proposals for the line should be lodged separately.