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Feb 19, 2020 | Parliament

Mr BARTON (Eastern Metropolitan) (17:31): My adjournment matter tonight is for the Minister for Transport Infrastructure, Minister Allan. I feel like Robinson Crusoe, and I am the only one on this island who has concerns that the government is considering giving the Melbourne Airport, its major shareholders and partners the keys to airport rail.

Adjournment – Ownership of Airport Rail

If we allow a consortium ownership of the airport rail link it will control every access point into Melbourne Airport – road, rail and air – and could set pr…

We all know the consortium ownership of the airport rail link will control every access point into the Melbourne Airport—road, rail and air—and will set prices as it likes. Is this in the best interests of the travelling public? We have waited 50 years for the rail line to the Melbourne Airport. Now that we have funding on the table we should not be looking for the cheaper option or be pandering to profit-motivated private sector interests.

I hope both the state and federal governments have learned lessons from the past and will find another way to fund this very important project. This consortium has a massively vested interest in maintaining a monopoly on transport to the Melbourne Airport. So I ask the minister to do her best to prevent a monopoly on airport access and to consider carefully the effect private ownership of our new airport rail link will have on the travelling public for many decades to come.

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