The federal government has pledged $3 million to fund planning for a Perth Airport railway link.
Last year WA Transport Minister Troy Buswell said railway infrastructure was critical in supporting passenger growth as the number of travellers continues to rise, and that it was extremely important that commuters be given options for finding ways to get to and from the airport.
He also emphasized, however, that the government was keen to understand the project’s full scope and cost to determine where it sits in relation to other infrastructure investment priorities before making a full commitment.
Deputy Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said the Federal contribution would help finalise a business case for the Perth Airport Link and begin the planning necessary to get the project "shovel ready."
“Perth is one of Australia's fastest growing cities and its Airport will continue to experience substantial passenger growth in the years ahead,” he said. “That's why it's critical we invest now in the world class public transport infrastructure which is able to cater for that growth and support future needs of Perth residents.”
He noted that the federal government had matched the WA government's $3 million investment and comes in addition to $4 million in funds already delivered to plan a light rail network in Perth.
“Providing funding for planning on these two significant projects will assist the State Government to determine how to best use the $500 million we put aside in our most recent Budget for the Perth Public Transport Package,” he said.
The proposed Link would connect Perth Airport and the suburbs to the east with the CBD via the Midland Line.
This will ensure Western Australians and tourists can go straight to the doorstep of the airport terminal, improving access for travelers and reducing traffic congestion.
Importantly, residents to the east of the airport will also benefit from better public transport, with a new station to service the High Wycombe area via a tunnel.
A new line would integrate with services on the existing Midland line, resulting in increased train frequencies between Bayswater and Perth.
The Airport Rail Link Planning Study will include refined patronage demand forecasts, environmental and heritage assessments, risk management, and technical and engineering requirements including aviation safety requirements for tunneling under the airport's runways.
“This Federal Labor Government is making an unprecedented investment in Western Australia's road, rail and public transport infrastructure," Albanese said. "Already we have committed $6.9 billion, which is more than double what the former Howard Government spent over a similar period of time.”