29 March 2021

Community feedback

From December 2020 to March 2021, Rail Projects Victoria asked local communities what is important to them and what they think are opportunities for improvements as part of the Melbourne Airport Rail project. This could include station facilities, walking and cycling connections, open space, and other key features near the rail alignment.

This repost details the key themes raised in feedback from the community, local businesses and stakeholders during the early planning phase. These themes will help identify important issues for the project to consider as the design continues to develop.

Thank you to everyone who contributed to our initial phase of engagement. Thousands of suggestions and comments were received, helping us plan this transformational project for Victoria.

How we engaged

Engagement on this initial phase was open from 9 December 2020 to 1 March 2021, with community members heading to our virtual information session and submitting feedback via our online survey or by contributing to our interactive map.

To ensure we reached as many people as possible, Melbourne Airport Rail promoted the online engagement in a range of ways:

  • letterbox drops
  • e-newsletters
  • social media posts
  • online ads
  • newspaper ads.

The project team also sought feedback and promoted the online engagement in responses to email and telephone enquiries, through interactions with businesses, and in meetings with local government and community groups.

Engagement statistics

We received thousands of surveys and comments from communities along the Melbourne Airport Rail corridor, as well as from wider Melbourne and around Victoria.

  • 1045 surveys completed
  • 214 pins on the interactive map
  • 1802 virtual information session visitors
  • 3000+ comments received

What we heard

What you love most about your areas

Sunshine Station

  • Transport connections
  • Vibrant shops and cafes

Sunshine North

  • Central location
  • Great community

Airport West

  • Local shops
  • Central location


  • Close to airport
  • Great community

Keilor East

  • Great community
  • Central location

Albion Station

  • Heritage silos
  • Station location

Profile of respondents

Age range of respondents

  • < 18 years – 1%
  • 18-34 years – 27%
  • 35-49 years – 43%
  • 50-65 years – 21%
  • > 65 years – 8%

Areas of importance to most people

  • All of Melbourne Airport Rail – 14%
  • Sunshine Station – 14%
  • Albion Station – 5%
  • Sunshine North – 2%
  • Keilor East – 21%
  • Airport West – 35%
  • Tullamarine 9%

Project benefits

The feedback received has shown that the overwhelming majority of the community believe Melbourne Airport Rail will benefit all Victorians.

Over two thirds of respondents believe that Melbourne Airport Rail will benefit their local community, and over 90% of people agreed or strongly agreed that the project will benefit the broader Victorian community.

The potential benefits rated highest were:

  1. Easier and more convenient travel options to and from the airport
  2. Less congestion compared to travelling on roads
  3. A faster way to get to the airport

Key themes

Construction impacts

While the majority of respondents acknowledged the benefits of Melbourne Airport Rail being built, there is some concern about the potential impacts of construction for local communities.

The main construction concerns were:

  • noise, particularly at night
  • disruptions to local roads and public transport
  • impacts to property.

While the project is still in the early planning and design phase, there will be a range of mitigation measures put in place during construction to minimise these potential impacts as much as possible.


There was an overwhelming number of responses about the importance of protecting our environment and highlighting local examples of loved parks and green spaces in the community.

The main comments about the environment were:

  • preserving local flora and fauna for biodiversity
  • retaining as much vegetation as possible
  • safe and appropriate soil management practices.

Before, during and after Melbourne Airport Rail is completed, every effort will be made to protect the existing environment and replace any vegetation that may need to be removed as part of the project.

Local amenity

There was a very strong sense of local pride in the responses, with many locals raving about their communities and highlighting what is unique to their area.

Suggestions for local amenity included:

  • well-designed stations and structures
  • integration of the project with the local area
  • additions of new community spaces and parks.

Melbourne Airport Rail is committed to exploring opportunities for improvement in the look and feel of the areas we will be working in.

Public transport connections

Community feedback has highlighted the importance of public transport connections both for local communities, but also for wider Melbourne and regional Victoria.

Some of the feedback reflected the importance of:

  • Sunshine Station as a transport hub and interchange ensuring Melbourne Airport Rail is integrated seamlessly into the wider rail network
  • using the project as an opportunity for wider improvements to the network including consideration for additional stations.

Melbourne Airport Rail is working closely with transport stakeholders to ensure the best possible outcome for public transport users across the network.


The community is passionate about the protection and celebration of history in the local area, with the preservation of Aboriginal culture and the John Darling silos mentioned the most.

Some of the key feedback about preserving heritage included:

  • respecting the traditional owners of the land and ensuring Aboriginal Cultural heritage is preserved and celebrated
  • integration of local historical landmarks into the project
  • highlighting the industrial history of the west.

There are many opportunities to preserve and integrate heritage elements into Melbourne Airport Rail, ensuring that future generations will be able to remember and respect the history of the local landscape.


Ensuring the safety of the community in all aspects of Melbourne Airport Rail is of the utmost importance for all involved.

Community feedback highlighted specific concerns which included:

  • security measures at stations and shared use paths
  • adequate mitigations to control dust and air quality during construction
  • secure fencing along the rail corridor during construction and once Melbourne Airport Rail is up and running.

The safety of the community, commuters and project team members is the highest priority for Melbourne Airport Rail.

Next steps

Thank you to everyone who took the time to complete the online survey and have their say about Melbourne Airport Rail.

This feedback will play an important role in helping us understand what is valued by the community, and what improvement opportunities could be considered as part of the project.

Community feedback, along with technical investigations, will help deliver a project that benefits communities and commuters across Melbourne and Victoria.

In mid-2021, we will be asking the community for their views on certain elements of scope being delivered as part of Melbourne Airport Rail.

To be kept informed about the project, we encourage people to register for updates and to follow the project on Facebook.