An implementation plan is now in place for a high-speed rail that would enable a 32-minute journey from Geelong Station to Melbourne, which sit roughly 75 kilometres apart.
“That would completely transform this region in the process, building that connectivity,” said Australian Federal Minister for Population, Cities and Urban Infrastructure Alan Tudge, announcing the launch of the Geelong City Deal Implementation Plan on Tuesday.
The cities could be linked by trains travelling between 250 and 300 kilometres an hour under the plan.
Funding for the project will be covered by both the federal and Victorian governments, who are currently in discussions regarding the Geelong project which will integrate with the Melbourne Airport Rail Link project.
Initial construction work linking Southern Cross to Sunshine will constitute the most complex and expensive part of the project, according to Tudge.
Altogether it is a $10 billion project, said Tudge, with $6 billion of these funds going towards Southern Cross to Sunshine station work, covered by funding for the Melbourne Airport Rail Link which is estimated to cost between $8 billion and $13 billion.
A $50 million business case is currently underway for the Geelong project, according to the state government.
Victorian Minister for Regional Development Jaclyn Symes said all three levels of government, including local, were committed to achieving a shared vision for Geelong over the next 10 years through the City Deal.
“The City Deal is expected to inject $370 million into Geelong and the broader Great Ocean Road region,” said Tudge.