Robert Doyle wants underground Parkville station
The Lord Mayor believes services at Parkville are '"not adequate" and says he will work with the government to improve its transport links.PT1M46S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-37x2o 620 349 May 8, 2014
The Victorian government has been forced to clarify the location of one of its proposed new train stations, just a day after announcing its flagship public transport project, the Melbourne Rail Link.
Hours after Premier Denis Napthine said the Montague station would be at Southbank, Planning Minister Matthew Guy held a press conference to insist the station would be at Fishermans Bend.
The station will be built within the Fishermans Bend "renewal precinct", but not in the suburb of the same name.
The blue line shows the existing rail lines; the orange line the Melbourne Rail Link -Tunnel; and the green the Melbourne Rail Link-Airport Rail Link that continues to Melbourne Airport. Photo: Supplied
The rail link, which the government maintains is the most significant expansion of the city's train network since construction of the city loop, includes a realigned underground rail tunnel, which the government says will service the small but growing Fishermans Bend community.
The plan is a deviation from the previous metro tunnel plan that included stations at Parkville to service the university and hospital precinct.
The opposition has slammed the new route, saying the change of plan was rushed, poorly planned and reflected a government in panic mode.
Dr Napthine said further transport links would be built in Fishermans Bend to allow access to the station.
"It's about linking to Fishermans Bend growth in the future," he said.
"The Montague station will service that rapidly growing population who choose to live in Southbank. But it will also be a key node for the potential population growth in that redevelopment of the Fishermans Bend area, which will be a significant employment area and residential area."
But Mr Guy was quick to come out and claim the station would be in Fishermans Bend.
The site of the proposed station is currently home to a collection of car yards and other light industry, with few residents nearby.
Treasurer Michael O'Brien said the project was fully funded and construction would start in 2016
"I know that sometimes people get a bit cynical about treasurers and politicians saying we are going to start these projects," he said. "We haven't just funded planning, or design work, we have funded construction. We are going to start constructing this project in 2016."
Mr O'Brien said the rail link project would allow the metropolitan rail network to carry an additional 35,000 passengers in peak hour.
"The original Metro proposal would only increase capacity by about 20,000. So we get greater capacity and we get an airport rail link and we don't have to dig up the CBD – for the same amount of money as the original Metro proposal. So this is a much better way to go."
Monash University's public transport research director Graham Currie said he was satisfied with the government's rail link plans. "We have a major problem of real capacity in Melbourne; trains are too full and we can't really put too many more on, on the lines we've got.