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    $7-billion proposal for major Melbourne airport to be put to government

    Kirsty Sier

    A private investor has put together a $7-billion proposal for another major Melbourne airport. The plans, made by Paragon Premier Investment Fund, would see the construction of a new commercial airport between Koo Wee Rup and Lang Lang, positioned the serve the city’s booming south-eastern suburbs.

    The proposal will be put to the Victorian government next week.

    According to draft plans, the proposed airport would initially be the approximate size of Canberra airport, with the capacity to handle roughly 2.8 million passengers per year. If approved, the airport could begin handling cargo flights from as soon as 2020.

    Two runways have been proposed in the initial draft, though Paragon says that two additional runways would be built as demand grew in the region.

    Paragon’s interest in building a third major airport for Melbourne aligns with the government’s existing planning strategy for the southern capital. Already, the $7-billion private proposal has received financial backing. According to The Age, Paragon’s chairman, Alande Mustafa Safi, announced last week that an unidentified infrastructure financier has agreed to fund the new airport.

    Although Safi says he will not name the pledged financier until Paragon’s proposal is pitched to the government next week, he has revealed that the capital partner is part of a consortium based in Europe and the Middle East that has already funded approximately $75 billion worth of government projects internationally.

    Melbourne Airport’s CEO, Craig Abraham, has also stated his approval for the project.

    If approved, the third Melbourne airport would be Paragon’s first-ever major infrastructure project. Due to privately-pledged funding, the project would require no financial backing from government.

    Infrastructure Victoria is set to advise the government on the feasibility of the project when Paragon pitches it for approval next week.

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