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 that would include stops in Coffs Harbour and Grafton has been introduced into the Senate.
Labor Senator Don Farrell introduced the bill yesterday to create the Authority which would work with the governments of Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and the Australian Capital Territory on detailed planning and corridor acquisition.
Senator Farrell said while asking for the bill to debated that introducing high speed rail would be an engineering challenge.
“It would require at least 80km of tunnels including 67km in Sydney alone,” he said.
“But despite these challenges, the experts have said that high speed rail has huge potential, particularly if we consider where our society is headed over coming decades.”
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The subject is a pet project of Labor front bencher Anthony Albanese.
Mr Albanese said Labor calls on the Senate to facilitate debate on this Bill so progress on the nation building project in the national interest can be made.
“High Speed Rail would allow 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.”