Sep 4, 2017

Labor takes High Speed Rail bill to Senate

Labor has today introduced into the Senate a Bill to create a High Speed Rail Authority to begin detailed planning on a High Speed Rail line between Brisbane and Melbourne via Sydney and Canberra.

Despite a 2013 feasibility study concluding that High Speed Rail was viable and would produce $2.30 in public benefit for every dollar invested, the Turnbull Government has done nothing to progress this visionary project.

Indeed, the Government has even refused to facilitate debate into a Private Member’s Bill which Labor has introduced to the House of Representatives several times since 2013.

Today Senator Farrell tabled an identical Bill in the Senate.

It would create a High Speed Rail Authority which would work with the governments of Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and the Australian Capital Territory on detailed planning and corridor acquisition.

Creation of such an authority would reflect the findings of an expert panel which the former Labor Government appointed in 2013 to assess the positive findings of the feasibility study and recommend the best way forward.

That expert panel included former Deputy Prime Minister Tim Fischer, Business Council of Australia chief executive Jennifer Westacott and the former head of the Australasian Railway Association, the late Bryan Nye.

Labor calls on the Senate to facilitate debate on this Bill so we can progress this important nation building project in the national interest.

High Speed Rail would allow people to travel between capital cities in as little as three hours.

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.