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Labor scraps train station for Fishermans Bend

12 Mar 2015

Labor scraps train station for Fishermans Bend Image

Fishermans Bend is to miss out on a railway station as the Labor State Government has chosen not to include a Montague train station as part of its plans for the Melbourne Metro Rail Project.

It comes after Premier Daniel Andrews announced the establishment of the Melbourne Metro Rail Authority last month, as work begins on delivering one of Australia’s largest infrastructure projects.

While Southbank residents will still benefit from the delivery of a station at Domain, Labor’s Melbourne Metro Rail will include new underground stations at Arden, Parkville, CBD North and CBD South.

The previous Coalition government favoured an alternative project, known as Melbourne Rail, which was to run along a different route and include a Montague Station, which would have serviced Fishermans Bend.

The Premier said it made no sense to build a railway station where nobody lived and that the government was listening to the experts.

“The Napthine Government’s plan was widely considered by rail network and planning experts to be an inferior project,” he said.

“It does not free up the capacity in the centre of the train network that Melbourne Metro does, nor does it deliver train services where they are needed now.”

He said the project would link passengers to Melbourne’s university and hospital precinct as well as major employment centres in Parkville and St Kilda Rd.

“Stations at Domain and Parkville are more desperately needed by our growing city than a station at Fishermans Bend,” he said.

“The new station at Parkville will connect hundreds of thousands of students, patients and staff to Melbourne University and the hospital precinct.”

Fishermans Bend Network committee member Rowan Groves agreed that it was too early for a station to be constructed, but said his group was pushing for the government to implement a transport strategy for the area as soon as possible.

“We think rail needs to be considered as part of a broader transport strategy,” he said. “The Montague underground station seemed to be a thought bubble policy in the lead up to the state election, and so didn’t fit into a broader strategy.”

“As far as Fishermans Bend and Southbank are concerned, the transport issues need to be sorted before any more population is added to the area. It’s not just an issue for the local businesses and residents but for anyone trying to move through.”

The Napthine government had also mapped out plans for a rail link to Melbourne Airport, which was also not included as part of the Government’s new strategy.

Public Transport Minister Jacinta Allan said that there were a number of constraints that needed to be overcome before building a rail line to the airport.

“Melbourne Metro will not only unlock more capacity in the rail network than the previous Liberal Government’s disastrous Melbourne Rail Link, it will provide train services where they are needed most,” she said.

“A rail line to the airport is a worthy project, but you can’t build it without unlocking capacity at the centre of the rail network, which is what Melbourne Metro is all about.”

The Government has fast-tracked $40million as part of its $300 million election commitment in order to establish the Metro Rail Authority.

The authority will oversee immediate planning works, complete development of the design framework and undertake detailed site investigations.

With major construction expected to start in 2018 it is estimated that the project would be operational by 2026.

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