Laing O’Rourke awarded a “huge package” of works on Melbourne’s Suburban Rail Loop

Melbourne

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

The State 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. Fast, efficient, high-tech trains powered by renewables will provide a turn-up and go service – carrying around 70,000 passengers a day.

Commuters in Melbourne’s southeast 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.

The 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 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 circa $500million Initial Works and Early Works package 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.

Laing O’Rourke Australia Managing Director Cathal O’Rourke said:

“Laing O’Rourke is delighted to partner with the Victorian Government to deliver the SRL Initial Works and Early Works. As well as clearing the way for the main works, we will also provide new opportunities for Victorians to be involved in this city-shaping project and we appreciate the trust placed in us to deliver great outcomes for the community.”

“We are delighted the Victorian Government and the Suburban Rail Loop Authority have chosen to trust us to be their Managing Contractor partner. We will be the first major partner to hit the ground and we know how important it is to build a positive reputation for our client and deliver great social and community outcomes.”

“We were ambitious in our bid, committing to 14 per cent of the deemed project hours to be worked by apprentices, trainees or cadets – well exceeding the Victorian Government’s 10 per cent target. We did this because we know how critical it is for industry to upskill workers to meet the unprecedented pipeline of work in Victoria.”

To reach this target, we intend to partner with She Works, Brotherhood of St. Laurence and CareerSeekers to particularly support people facing barriers to employment. In addition, we will leverage our national partnership with CareerTrackers to provide internship opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

View the full media release here

Source: © Copyright State Government of Victoria

Source: Laing O’Rourke media release

About Suburban Rail Loop

Suburban Rail Loop (SRL) is a 90km rail line which will link every major rail line from the Frankston Line to the Werribee Line via Melbourne Airport, better connecting Victorians to jobs, retail, education, health services and each other.

Three transport super hubs at Clayton, Broadmeadows and Sunshine will connect regional services, so passengers outside Melbourne won’t have to travel through the CBD to get to employment, world-class hospitals and universities in the suburbs.

SRL East between Cheltenham and Box Hill will be operating by 2035, with construction getting underway in 2022.

SRL North from Box Hill to Melbourne Airport is in early planning. It will include new SRL stations at Doncaster, Heidelberg, Bundoora, Reservoir, Fawkner, Broadmeadows and connect SRL to Melbourne Airport. The alignment for SRL North is indicative and subject to further investigations. It is expected construction will be complete by 2053. Future governments will have the opportunity to bring forward works to commence while SRL East is under construction.

SRL West extends from Melbourne Airport to Werribee. SRL West will be subject to further investigation, planning and development. There are already billions of dollars of investment in rail projects in the West, including projects such as Metro Tunnel, Melbourne Airport Rail, Geelong Fast Rail and the Western Rail Plan, and all of these will be coordinated to ensure provision is made to deliver SRL to Werribee as soon as possible.

SRL East is expected to cost between $30.0 to $34.5 billion and the standalone line will be running by 2035.

Project Benefits

With SRL East from Cheltenham to Box Hill and SRL North from Box Hill to Melbourne Airport delivered, it will:

  • improve travel efficiency for more than 80% of Melburnians
  • cut traffic congestion and take more than 600,000 car trips off the roads and freeways every day
  • reduce crowding on existing public transport
  • deliver a second direct rail link to Melbourne Airport including for many regional passengers
  • provide convenient interchanges with every major rail service from the Frankston line to the Werribee line
  • connect regional Victorians to key destinations via transport super hubs at Clayton, Broadmeadows and Sunshine
  • deliver frequent services, with trains every 6 minutes in the peak, increasing (with demand) to every 2 minutes
  • provide enjoyable experiences for passengers, with high tech trains delivering a smooth, comfortable service, mobile coverage and smartphone-compatible journey information.

SRL East from Cheltenham to Box Hill will be delivered by 2035, slashing public transport travel times for people in Melbourne’s east and south east and travellers on the Gippsland line.

  • A journey from Cheltenham to Box Hill will be just 22 minutes, with trains taking 3 to 4 minutes between stations.
  • Commuters hopping on at the start of the line near Southland will save between 40 and 60 minutes when travelling to Monash, Glen Waverley or Burwood by train – and up to 2 hours on a return journey.
  • A trip from Lilydale to Monash University will be 20 to 40 minutes quicker with a seamless interchange at Box Hill.
  • A one-way trip from Cranbourne to Deakin University will be cut by 20 to 40 minutes.
  • Travel times between Traralgon and Box Hill Hospital will be around 26 minutes faster – taking around two and a half hours instead of three and making train travel times comparable to a car trip.

Suburban Rail Loop will create a long-term pipeline of work, generating thousands of local job opportunities and helping train the next generation of skilled workers.

  • SRL East and SRL North will support up to 24,000 jobs across the Victorian economy.
  • Up to 8000 direct jobs will be created as part of delivering SRL East from Cheltenham to Box Hill, with construction starting in 2022.
  • More than 5000 additional direct jobs will be created as part of delivering SRL North from Box Hill to Melbourne Airport.
  • Thousands more jobs created during delivery of SRL West from the airport to Werribee.
  • Opportunities for up to 10% of the workforce to be trainees, apprentices and cadets.

Beyond the many jobs delivered during construction, SRL will create major economic activity centres around the new stations, transforming Melbourne into a city of multiple employment centres.

  • SRL Precincts from Cheltenham to Melbourne Airport will be home to almost 550,000 jobs by 2056 – about the same number of jobs as there are in the CBD today.
  • 165,000 jobs will locate in these areas because of SRL, helping create more jobs closer to where people live – all within a short walk from a station.

Source: Copyright © 2021, State Government of Victoria, Australia – Last updated 18 Oct 2021 – Victoria’s Big Build

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