THE state government believes a $5-billion commitment to the Melbourne Airport Rail Link will lead to faster regional services from western Victoria.
The government announced on Sunday it would match the funding commitment the federal government made to the project in April – if it is re-elected in November.
Member for Western Victoria Jaala Pulford said the announcement would benefit people in Ararat and across the state’s west.
She said the Sunshine route would offer a faster journey to the airport than other proposed routes, because passengers would be able to connect to the airport at a new interchange at Sunshine.
“The planning work will continue but this could truly change the way people live and work in our part of the state,” she said.
The government estimates the rail link will cost between $8 billion and $13 billion.
Rail Projects Victoria is due to complete a full business case next year.
The state government plans to start rail link construction by the end of 2022 if it is re-elected.