Victorian developers and councillors are seeking clarity on the new Sunshine station super hub after the state government dropped its branding from the latest project updates.
The transport hub was meant to be part of the new Melbourne Airport Link, the catalyst in creating a new capital in Melbourne’s west, however, new designs for the section failed to properly incorporate the precinct plans, according to the local council.
The Victorian government first mentioned the hub in 2018 and Brimbank City Council were busy preparing a new Sunshine Priority Precinct Vision 2050 in line with the airport link.
The state government released its latest Melbourne airport link plans on March 31, days before Brimbank City Council finalised feedback and released its 2050 precinct vision.
Brimbank mayor Ranka Rasic said the increasing dilution of Sunshine super transport hub was concerning.
“The continued watering down of Sunshine station’s role in airport rail means any tangible and timely benefits from the project may not be seen by the western region for many years to come,” Rasic said.
“Based on the concept images, there appears to be little to no alignment between any Sunshine precinct master planning and the scope and design process around how airport rail will unlock investment and development opportunities.
“Melbourne airport rail must be more than a train trip, it has the potential to create Sunshine and the west of Melbourne as a destination, somewhere where people stop and explore.
“Private investors see the potential, with five hotels and other mixed-use, medium-density projects already in the development pipeline in the Sunshine CBD.”
But a state government spokesperson said plans for a transport super hub at Sunshine Station had not changed.
“We’re delivering more than $20 billion in transport infrastructure projects to benefit the west, making it one of the most important transport interchanges in Victoria,” they said.
“As we deliver the metro tunnel, airport rail, Sunbury line upgrade and suburban rail loop, we’re continuing to look at the wider Sunshine transport precinct—and we’ll have more to say soon about designs for its upgrade and how the community can have their say on the project as it progresses.
“Sunshine’s links to major health and education institutions and potential for jobs growth make it a priority for broader development for all levels of government.”
The council vision includes 3000ha of land in Sunshine, Adeer, St Albans and Braybrook to create a 20-minute neighbourhood (the time it takes to reach the CBD) and a new capital in Melbourne’s west.
The plans could double the population and job capacity of the region with a mixed-use precinct linking both sides of the railway line.
The precinct has already created development worth $680 million in the CBD, either recently completed or in the pipeline.
Construction on the Melbourne Airport Rail and Sunshine Station Super Hub is expected to begin in 2022 and be completed by 2029.