We've already been promised a train line to the airport from the state government, and now the federal government is also promising to kick in a bucket of money to make it happen. Prime minister Malcolm Turnbull yesterday announced the federal government would contribute $5 billion for the project, which the Andrews state government has already committed to.
But don't jump on Webjet just yet – construction isn't even going to start for up to 10 years, according to Victorian premier Daniel Andrews. It’s estimated that construction of the airport line will begin when the new Metro tunnel opens in 2026.
Turnbull's letter to Andrews promises $5 billion in federal money in exchange for the federal government retaining half-ownership of the train line. But according to The Age, Victoria is leery of accepting the money because it fears the feds are more concerned with the bottom line than with a convenient service for Melburnians. Victorian transport minister Jacinta Allan threw a bit of shade in her response to the letter: "It's good the Prime Minister has finally found Victoria on a map, and we’ll accept this funding given how much he short changes our state."
There is some good (and more timely) airport news, though. Avalon Airport will become an international airport by the end of this year, with twice-daily Air Asia flights to Kuala Lumpur. A new international terminal will be constructed at Avalon soon to cater for the increased passenger numbers and new flights.