MEDIA RELEASE - 16 November 2020
Friends of the Earth welcomes Andrews govt investment to get rolling on the Suburban Rail Loop
Friends of the Earth Melbourne welcomes today’s announcement by the Andrews government that it will invest $2.2 billion to begin Stage One of the Suburban Rail Loop.
The investment demonstrates that the Andrews government is serious about public transport that connects people, reduces congestion, and helps the state rein in emissions and tackle climate change.
“Community members are excited to see big plans for ramping up investment in transport,” said Claudia Gallois, Friends of the Earth's Sustainable Cities coordinator said today.
“Connections across suburbs fill missing links, and make it easier for everyone to get where they need to be. This project will give everyday Melburnians better transport choices.”
While the Suburban Rail Loop is a critical project for the long-term, Friends of the Earth say that Melbourne is missing the immediate next step once Melbourne Metro 1 is completed.
“With Andrews government’s popular Melbourne Metro 1 tunnel due for completion in 2025, and the Suburban Rail Loop not due for completion until 2050, it’s imperative to see a budget allocation towards Melbourne Metro 2,” said Claudia Gallois.
“A $50 million commitment to a business plan for the MM2 can ensure a pipeline of jobs between the projects.”
Friends of the Earth note that investment in public transport infrastructure will help the state meet legislated commitment to cut emissions.
“Transport is the second largest and fastest growing source of emissions in Victoria,” noted Claudia Gallois.
“Investment in public transport has a big role to play in helping Victoria meet interim Emissions Reduction Targets.”
Friends of the Earth and public transport advocates will be paying close attention to the Andrews government’s forthcoming budget.