Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews and Minister for Public Transport Jacinta Allan have announced that registrations of interest to participate in the Melbourne Airport Rail Link (MARL) have opened.
Seeking to "help the government assess which organisations have the experience and capability to help bring the project to fruition, as well as gauging the interest of potential private sector investors and operators," the ROI period has opened before a finalised business case for the project has been completed.
Spring Street has previously confirmed it will contribute up to $5 billion to the project, matching the commitment from the Federal Government under the stewardship of former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.
Rail Projects Victoria lead the registration of interest campaign while the full business case continues to be developed after the State Government settled on the route - from the City to Airport via Sunshine - a month ago.
The Melbourne Airport Rail Link will form the north-western section of the Government's latest election promise, the Suburban Rail Loop (SRL) and when the business case for the MARL is complete, we're likely to have a better picture of what the wider SRL will look like - if the Andrews Government is returned in November.
The Registration of Interest form seeks input from three specific industry sectors - designers, engineers, rail systems providers and manufacturers; financiers; and property developer - in order to develop an understanding of organisations that are interested in the MARL. The registration form also makes a clear point that the "ROI process is not a pre-qualification for any formal procurement process."
In the property space, Rail Projects Victoria wants to hear from "master developers with experience in large-scale mixed-use precinct developments and developers with experience in integrated property development which may include a combination of retail, commercial or residential development, on or around transport infrastructure."
Despite an election to be held in November which will determine if the Suburban Rail Loop proceeds - as the MARL and the SRL have been linked by the Andrews Government - the outcomes of the MARL business case will no doubt set the tone for the SRL's business case which pending re-election would commence in 2019.
For more information, see Rail Projects Victoria.