Fast train gets thumbs up

Page MP Janelle Saffin backs recognition for Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islanders.
Page MP Janelle Saffin backs recognition for Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islanders.

TRAVELLING regularly to and from Sydney and Canberra by very fast train has the thumbs up from local politicians Janelle Saffin and Chris Gulaptis.

Federal Member for Page Janelle Saffin is a fan of the fast train and has had the fact recorded in a government report.

"Of course I would catch the very fast train to work in Canberra. I would love to," she said.

"I told Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Anthony Albanese, when the very fast train report was commissioned by the Federal Government, that I wanted it to have a station stop in the Northern Rivers and coastal stops.

"I was pleased to see my suggestions incorporated when he released the report last year."

State Member for Clarence Chris Gulaptis would use the train instead of a plane, noting the proposed three-hour trip compared favourably with two and three-quarter hours it took negotiating air terminals.

"The train would be more technology favourable as well with phone use and computers allowing us to do more work during the trip," Mr Gulaptis said.

However, he said the cost of building the network and tickets for the trips could make the experience unlikely.

A study commissioned by Greens Deputy Leader Adam Bandt and authored by former Deloitte partner Naomi Edwards shows the rail link would deliver more than $48billion in benefits over a 30-year period.

These savings would come in the form of reduced car trips ($31billion), reduced traffic congestion ($11billion), fewer road accidents ($4 billion), and reduced greenhouse gas emissions and pollution ($2.64billion).

The rail link would have "unquantified benefits", including a number of positives for regional Australia.

These benefits, described as "regional rebalancing", the study found, would come in the form of increased work options, boosting tourism and better access to city health and welfare services,

The rail link, which is projected to cost between $60billion and $108billion, depending on the route, would bring some parts of northern NSW to well within an hour of Brisbane and less than three hours from Sydney.

Brisbane to Sydney would become a three-hour trip (it currently takes about 14 hours), with a further three hours to Melbourne.

The HSR phase two report is due to be released before the end of the year.

Topics:  fast train

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