Labor promises $1 billion for high-speed rail corridor between Brisbane and Sydney

Labor will attempt again to revive a long-held ambition to build a high-speed rail network linking Canberra to the east coast capitals. File photo.
Labor will attempt again to revive a long-held ambition to build a high-speed rail network linking Canberra to the east coast capitals. File photo.

Coffs Harbour, Port Macquarie and Grafton would have stops on a high-speed rail line between Brisbane and Sydney under a Labor Government.

Labor will attempt again to revive the long-held ambition to build a high-speed rail network linking Canberra to the east coast capitals, by committing $1 billion to secure land for a corridor to make it happen if elected on May 18.

Labor infrastructure, transport, cities and regional development spokesman Anthony Albanese said that if elected, a Labor government would start work on establishing a High Speed Rail Authority to oversee planning for a route running from Brisbane to Melbourne, taking in Sydney, Canberra and a number of regional centres along the way.

During the last Labor government, Mr Albanese, a long-time advocate of high-speed rail, committed $20 million in 2010 for a feasibility study that found a service could be profitable, but would require significant government investment.

He said if elected Labor would build on that study, published in 2013, with a goal to finally making the project a reality.

Labor candidate for Cowper Andrew Woodward described it as a "game changer" for the Mid North Coast.

"This will have the biggest impact on the Mid North Coast since the early pioneers first travelled the coast on horse and cart," Mr Woodward said.

"To think we will be within 90 minutes of Sydney and Brisbane is remarkable, we can go to work meetings or pop up or down to go to the footy, a concert or family gathering."

Regional Manager for the Mid North Coast branch of the NSW Business Chamber Kellon Beard is supportive of the idea.

"It makes sense to start buying land now for an East coast rail corridor," Mr Beard said.

"The NSW Chamber has supported infrastructure that improves transport connectivity for a very long time and it's good to see politicians taking it seriously," Mr Beard added.

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