Greater commitment to airport transport infrastructure needed in Victorian State Budget

The Tourism & Transport Forum, Australia’s leading tourism and transport advocacy group, is calling on the Victorian Government to commit to staged funding in tomorrow’s State Budget for a rail line and a dedicated bus lane to Melbourne Airport

TTF Chief Executive, Margy Osmond, said improving airport transport options was one of six recommendations the organisation has put forward ahead of the Victorian Government’s 2017-18 Budget to ensure that Victoria remains a great place to live and to visit.

“Tullamarine Airport opened in 1970 – that’s almost half a century of indecision on an airport rail link. It’s time to commit,” Ms Osmond said.

“While the Victorian Government’s announcement it will allocate $10 million to investigate public-private partnership funding and route options for the airport rail link is a good start, the government must commit to staged investment to finally get this project off the ground.

“By 2033, Melbourne Airport is expected to have more than 60 million passenger movements a year, which is more than existing demand for the primary airports of Los Angeles, Paris or Hong Kong.

“Providing critical transport infrastructure to enable the movement of millions of additional visitors around Melbourne and key regional tourist destinations in Victoria is paramount to the continuing success of the visitor economy.”

Ms Osmond said TTF is also calling on the Victorian Government to restore funding for the State’s destination marketing body, Visit Victoria, from $109 million in 2016/17 to at least the $182 million dedicated to tourism, major events and international education marketing in 2014/15.

“While tourism is a sector delivering for the Victorian economy, with increased funding tourism has the capacity to make an even greater contribution in terms of generating growth, creating jobs and attracting new investment,” Ms Osmond said.

Ms Osmond also welcomed the Victorian Government’s commitment to allocate $1.45 billion to upgrade every regional rail line across Victoria.

“This investment will not only deliver better and more frequent services for regional Victorians, but it will also enhance the visitor experience for the thousands of tourists who visit regional Victoria by train every year.”