Suburban Rail Loop construction to create 8,000 jobs

By Our Reporter
Representational image. Photo by Ricardo Gomez Angel on Unsplash

Construction of Suburban Rail Loop (SRL) East will be underway next year—with the Andrews Labor Government detailing the start of our investment into the state’s biggest and most significant infrastructure project—that will create up to 8,000 direct jobs.

The Labor Government is providing new funding of $9.3 billion towards major works on SRL East to deliver 26-kilometre twin rail tunnels and six underground stations between Cheltenham and Box Hill as well as investment in new community projects and initiatives in the broader areas around the stations.

Trains will be running on SRL East by 2035, transforming Melbourne’s public transport network and better connecting people to jobs, health, education, retail opportunities and each other. Fast, efficient, high-tech trains powered by renewables will provide a turn up and go service—carrying around 70,000 passengers a day, an official press release said.

Commuters in Melbourne’s south east will experience much faster journeys on the underground line, saving up to an hour on a one-way trip. Trains will take  3-4 minutes  between stations, and a journey from Cheltenham to Box Hill will be just 22 minutes.

Construction starts next year, with the Business and Investment case showing SRL East and SRL North will deliver $58.7 billion in economic, social and environmental benefits, and will support up to 24,000 local jobs.

Today’s announcement provides certainty for project delivery and communities in Melbourne’s east and south east, paving the way for procurement of main works packages to start next year—and comes on top of the $2.5 billion already provided for planning and development of SRL and for Initial and Early Works on SRL East.

The Government will continue to work with the Commonwealth and the private sector as this project progresses, with the creation of significant value capture opportunities as the build progresses.

The contract for this first phase of works—creating up to 800 early direct jobs—has been awarded to global construction and engineering firm Laing O’Rourke, which has agreed to exceed workforce and local content targets.

The huge package of works includes preparing sites for the launch of tunnel boring machines, moving and protecting underground services, ground improvement, geotechnical investigations and roads modifications.

The contract offers exciting opportunities for local industry and suppliers, including delivering in excess of 95 per cent local content.

Around 14 per cent of the total hours will be undertaken by Victorian apprentices, trainees or cadets, with opportunities for women, Aboriginal and disadvantaged Victorians—contributing to the next generation of highly skilled workers.

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