House debates

Wednesday, 23 November 2022

Constituency Statements

Maribyrnong Electorate: Rail Infrastructure, Essendon Primary School

9:50 am

Photo of Bill ShortenBill Shorten (Maribyrnong, Australian Labor Party, Minister for the National Disability Insurance Scheme) Share this | Hansard source

For too long, people in Melbourne's fast-growing north-western suburbs, including my electorate of Maribyrnong, have been less well served by public transport. Of course anyone who lives in Melbourne knows that there has been a long obsession about when and if we would ever get a train line between the city and the airport. Due to changes in the electoral borders after the 2019 election, the Melbourne Airport is now in my electorate. So, of course, that means every member of parliament who lands in Melbourne visits Maribyrnong first.

What is most exciting is the arrangement between the Andrews government and the Albanese government that an airport rail line is going ahead. Most particularly, it will include a new railway station at Keilor East. This is a giant win for our communities. A new railway station in Keilor East will be a game changer. It will deliver alternative transport options not just for people who wish to come from the airport but for other people who wish to travel to the city who can now use Keilor East is a railway station. It means for the first time more than 150,000 residents in the area will be linked to Victoria's rail network, via the Melbourne Airport railway project. This is very exciting. This will be a boon for the whole electorate and neighbouring electorates and a boost for the economy of Victoria. Many people who work at the airport also live in Maribyrnong. I have had countless conversations about better access to the airport, and I am proud that we are finally able to make this happen.

A new railway station on the airport rail line is an example of how the power of persistence and representation ultimately sees through to an outcome. It is the result of hard work and advocacy by local state MPs—in particular, Mr Ben Carroll, the member for Niddrie and a minister in the Andrews government. It's a result of multiple meetings with the Melbourne authority, the Victorian rail authority and, of course, the airport and the councils to ensure maximum benefit across Maribyrnong. I congratulate the incoming Mayor of Moonee Valley, Councillor Pierce Tyson.

The fact is that it will be jointly funded by the Victorian state and Commonwealth governments to the tune of $5 billion each. It also shows the power of collaboration. This is an investment in infrastructure that will generate an investment in the people and the businesses of our region. It's been an honour for me to do my part for my local communities to make sure their voices are heard. This is a dream as old as the Melbourne Airport, and now it comes to fruition.

In the remaining time, I might just also acknowledge the Essendon Primary School fete, which I recently attended. I congratulate the school council, the teachers and the student leadership group who made that such an outstanding event.


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