A High Speed Rail link between Newcastle and Sydney will kick-start a rail revolution in Australia, and a better future for regional communities, according to the Rail, Tram and Bus Union (RTBU).
Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese promised hundreds of millions of dollars for such a project if Labor wins the upcoming federal election.
RTBU National Secretary Mark Diamond said the link would be the vital first step towards an east-coast rail network linking Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Canberra.
“High Speed Rail would not only address Australia’s absolute reliance on airline industry, it would stimulate a new era of growth in regional centres along the east coast,” he said.
“The pandemic, and the associated increase in people in working from home, has increased the trend of Australians seeking to move away from the major cities.
“This should be opening up massive opportunities for regional areas to grow and prosper – but the regions are being held back by critical failures in our national infrastructure.”
Diamond said transport would be a key battleground for the upcoming Federal election.
“Australian transport networks are slow, congested, expensive to use, and falling apart. In fact, Australia is woefully behind other countries in the development of efficient intercity rail links, and no real work has been done since the Liberals and Nationals disbanded the High Speed Rail Advisory Group in 2013,” he said.
“Australia needs a comprehensive plan to deliver faster, safer, better transport – for both people and freight.”