Passenger Rail

Albo puts High Speed Rail to Parliament

Anthony Albanese has re-launched his Bill to create a High Speed Rail Authority in charge of detailed planning work on a high speed rail line linking Melbourne, Canberra, Sydney and Brisbane.

The shadow minister for infrastructure, transport, cities and regional development originally introduced the High Speed Rail Planning Authority Bill 2016 in May this year, but accused the Government of stalling in the lead-up to the May 9 dissolution of Parliament.

On Monday, November 21, Albanese re-launched the Bill, saying it was time for the Government to take a real look at high speed rail.

“High Speed Rail would revolutionise interstate travel, allowing people to travel between capital cities in as little as three hours,” he said.

“It would also turbo charge the economic development of the regional centres along its route, including the Gold Coast, Casino, Grafton, Coffs Harbour, Port Macquarie, Taree, Newcastle, the Central Coast, Southern Highlands, Wagga Wagga, Albury-Wodonga and Shepparton.”

Albanese cited the former Labor Government’s feasibility study into the project, which he said found it was viable, and would produce more than $2 in public benefit for every dollar invested in the Sydney-to-Melbourne corridor.

“In response, we appointed an expert panel including former Deputy Prime Minister Tim Fischer, Business Council of Australian chief executive Jennifer Westacott and the late Bryan Nye, of the Australasian Railways Association, to recommend practical measures to advance the project.

“The panel recommended the creation of a delivery authority to work with the governments of Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and the Australian Capital Territory on detailed planning and corridor acquisition.

“My Private Member’s Bill would establish that Authority.”

In the lead-up to this year’s federal election, Labor said it would create the authority if it won Government, saying the project was attracting a strong interest from the international private sector.

“I call on the Government to facilitate debate so we can progress this important nation building project.”