Aug 5, 2010

Greens jump on board after high speed train leaves station

Greens jump on board after high speed train leaves station

The Hon Anthony Albanese MP

The Minister for Infrastructure, Transport

Regional Development and Local Government

Leader of the House

Member for Grayndler

August 5 2010

Federal Minister for Infrastructure, Anthony Albanese, today welcomed the Greens’ support for the Gillard Labor Government’s feasibility study into high speed rail and dismissed as ridiculous their claim to have a monopoly on a proposal that was first put forward nearly 30 years ago.

Although the idea of high speed rail for Australia has been around since at least 1981, no government has undertaken a comprehensive study into the economic viability of a high speed rail network or identified potential routes – until today.

This study will identify corridors, estimate construction costs, undertake preliminary geotechnical investigations and the financial and economic modelling necessary to determine the project’s viability.

Instead of debating half-baked ideas, the Gillard Government is determined to do its homework when it comes to high speed rail.

We need a lot more than a Senate inquiry to develop a considered and informed response.

Instead the Gillard Labor Government’s study will draw upon expertise within all levels of government, the private sector and engineering, geological, planning and economic fields as well as consider the depth of international experience.

We applied the same rigorous process with the long talked about inland rail proposal by undertaking a $14 million feasibility study to identify costs and a potential corridor.

As a result, the inland rail proposal can now be taken to the next step.

Nearly 10 million people live along the east coast between Brisbane and Melbourne, which requires ongoing investment in modern transport infrastructure.

The Gillard Labor Government already has a strong record of investing in the nation’s railways, having delivering $9 billion or 10 times the funding provided by the former Coalition government, in which Tony Abbott served as a senior minister.