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Albo tells Melb Airport to ‘get serious’

Written by on May 9, 2024

The Prime Minister has weighed in on Melbourne’s long-promised, never-delivered train line from Tullamarine airport to the city the airport telling the terminal owners to be better corporate citizens.

And Victorian Treasurer Tim Pallas has used a business lunch in front of hundreds of corporates to double down on threats of taking the project to Melbourne’s Avalon Airport instead.

Tuesday’s state budget formally acknowledged the $10 bn Melbourne Airport rail project is now at least four years delayed.

Melbourne Airport wants an underground station but the state government wants a cheaper above-ground station. The Treasurer also says the Airport wants compensation for the construction period.

At a post-budget business lunch in Melbourne on Thursday, Mr Pallas reiterated the project with Melbourne Airport owners Australia Pacific Airports Corporation was at a stalemate, and threatened to take the project to the smaller and further away Avalon near Geelong.

“The fact the airport is saying they expect to be compensated for the dislocation of the construction, is I think, very rich because frankly, we are building a multi-billion dollar asset to service their airport,” Mr Pallas said.

Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said Melbourne Airport was not being a good corporate citizen.

“The airport should get serious about actually getting things done,” Mr Albanese said.

“I’m familiar with airports. From time to time, they think they operate in a way, that forgets about their social licence.”

In April the federal government appointed a mediator between the state government and airport company.

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The Prime Minister was in Melbourne Thursday to commit another $3.25bn to the North East Link, bringing the Commonwealth contribution up to $5bn for the blown-out $26.1bn project.

Melbourne Airport owner Australia Pacific Airports Corporation had a table at Thursday’s luncheon with Mr Pallas.

Executives including the chief financial officer and executive general manager of engineering declined to comment.

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