19 August 2021

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Summary of Business and Investment Case

Victoria is expected to grow to 11.2 million people by 2056 and Greater Melbourne will reach around 9 million people – a similar size to London today.

Suburban Rail Loop (SRL) is a multi-generational investment that will transform Victoria’s public transport system and deliver enormous social benefits for all Victorians.

SRL will change how people move around Melbourne and Victoria. It will deliver a 90km orbital rail line that will provide a direct link to Melbourne Airport, relieve pressure on roads and transport networks and connect people to key destinations across our city – major job centres, health services and education institutions.

But SRL is much more than a transport project. Beyond the transport infrastructure and improved connectivity, it will transform Melbourne into a ‘city of centres’ – supporting vibrant precincts outside the central business district (CBD) that will provide more high quality jobs, greater housing options, and green and open space in attractive, well-connected neighbourhoods.

SRL is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to get ahead of the curve – recalibrating where and how our city will grow in the decades ahead. For years, high population growth on Greater Melbourne's expanding urban fringe has been driving many households further from employment centres, leading to longer commutes, increased congestion and more crowded public transport. This pattern of growth risks entrenching disadvantage, with inequitable access to good jobs, services, affordable housing, amenities, and cultural and recreational opportunities.

SRL addresses these challenges and will slow the unsustainable growth of our urban fringe.

The power of city-shaping infrastructure

Strategic or ‘city-shaping’ transport infrastructure has the power to change a city’s development patterns and growth. It influences where a business chooses to locate and where a person chooses to live. It can make locations more attractive, catalysing urban renewal in some areas, while easing pressure on others.

When new areas become more attractive because of city-shaping infrastructure, this redirects the property market and intensifies urban development, leading to a shift in urban form. Melbourne’s City Loop, the West Gate Bridge, the Western Ring Road and CityLink all helped to re-balance Melbourne’s lopsided growth from the south east to the north west and west. It is impossible to think of Melbourne today without the long-term contribution of these key investments, despite the short-term disruption that accompanies construction.

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