Suburban Rail Loop legislation

(Photo: Thomas Hawk/flickr)

Suburban Rail Loop (SRL) – as well as the thousands of jobs it’ll deliver – is another step closer with the passing of legislation to enable the city-shaping investment to be planned and built with consistency and certainty.

The Suburban Rail Loop Bill 2021 ensures we can efficiently plan and construct the 90km orbital rail loop through Melbourne’s middle suburbs, while supporting development of the broader jobs precincts around each SRL station.

SRL from Cheltenham to Werribee passes through multiple local government areas, each with their own approach to precinct planning. This legislation will ensure a consistent approach is applied to planning and decision-making to achieve the best outcomes across all precincts.

Construction starts next year on SRL East between Cheltenham and Box Hill, including six new underground stations and twin 26-kilometre tunnels.

Under the new legislation, Suburban Rail Loop Authority (SRLA) will become a statutory body corporate with the ability to effectively deliver Victoria’s biggest public investment in transport and precinct development – essential as we plan for Melbourne’s future growth.

Establishing a dedicated agency to support significant long-term projects is not new. A similar approach was adopted to facilitate development of Docklands by the Docklands Authority and the development of new communities in Melbourne’s growth areas by the Victorian Planning Authority.

As outlined in the Business and Investment Case, SRL will generate up to $58.7 billion in economic, social and environmental benefits. It will play a significant role in our post-pandemic recovery – generating a pipeline of work and economic stimulus, supporting up to 24,000 jobs across the state.

This legislation brings together all elements of SRL into one place. As well as delivering better transport, SRLA is planning for enhanced communities which will benefit from greater accessibility and more job and housing choices.

The Government will fully consult with the community, including local councils, but rejected amendments from the Opposition and Greens that would enable the Suburban Rail Loop to be scrapped if any one councillor from eleven different councils opposed it.

Geotechnical work for SRL East resumes this week, with more than 565 investigations completed and more than 10 kilometres of boreholes drilled.

Hundreds of land and groundwater surveys and around 10,000 laboratory tests have also been undertaken over the past two years, with workers clocking up more than a million hours on SRL so far.

Communities will continue to have opportunities to have their say through the planning, development and delivery of SRL. In addition, there will be opportunities for formal submissions to be made as part of SRL East’s Environment Effects Statement in the coming weeks. Find out more at suburbanrailloop.vic.gov.au

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