|Description of this AgencyDescription of this Agency|
In 2006 the Victorian Government commissioned transport expert Sir Rod Eddington to conduct an investigation into the best transport solutions for connecting Melbourne's eastern and western suburbs. Eddington and his team undertook the East West Link Needs Assessment which published a list of 20 recommendations in his report of March 2008 titled Investing in Transport. Recommendation 2 was to bring forward the construction of a new rail connection from Werribee to Sunshine, then known as the Tarneit link, to significantly improve the frequency and reliability of services from Werribee, Geelong, Ballarat and Bendigo.
In a media release on 8 December 2008, the Minister for Public Transport, Lynne Kosky, announced the commencement of work on the Regional Rail Link, involving construction of 44 kilometres of twin track from West Werribee to Southern Cross Station via Tarneit and Sunshine, providing for the first time separate tracks for regional and metropolitan trains in order to alleviate bottlenecks caused by conflicts between suburban and regional trains.
Regional Rail Link Authority
The Regional Rail Link Authority (RRLA) (VA 5007) was established on 24 August 2010 by Order in Council under section 11 of the Public Administration Act 2004 as an administrative office in the Department of Transport (Victorian Government Gazette No. G 34, 26 August 2010) to oversee the Regional Rail Link project.
On 26 October 2010, the Governor in Council under section 4 of the Transport Integration Act 2010 declared the RRLA to be a transport body for the purposes of the Act, in a general capacity, with effect from the date of publication in Victorian Government Gazette No. 43 (28 October 2010). The responsible ministers were the Hon Martin Pakula MP (Minister for Public Transport) and the Hon Tim Pallas MP (Minister for Roads and Ports).
The key staff of the RRLA consisted of a chair, a chief executive officer and a communication team, tasked with delivering the project, which consisted of 90km of dedicated new regional tracks to be built from West Werribee Junction to Deer Park, then along the existing rail corridor from Sunshine to Southern Cross Station. In addition, the project included:
- two new stations at Wyndham Vale and Tarneit
- a rebuilt West Footscray railway station
- upgrades to Sunshine and Footscray stations
- improvements to the entrance and forecourt at Tottenham station
- two new platforms at Southern Cross Station
- removal of two level crossings at Anderson Road in Sunshine
- 13 road and rail grade separations though Windham Vale and Tarneit
- Construction of a new rail bridge over the Maribyrnong River.
The Regional Rail Link was jointly funded by the Australian and Victorian governments.
On 9 April 2013 a restructure announced by the new Premier the Hon Dr Denis Napthine abolished the Department of Transport (VA 4853) and included the RRLA in the new Department of Transport, Planning and Local Infrastructure (VA 5003), with effect from 1 July 2013.