Federal Member for Newcastle Sharon Claydon has named action on east-coast high speed rail links as the eighth item on her Federal Budget Wish List for 2018.
Ms Claydon said high-speed rail could be a ‘game-changer’ for Newcastle’s economy.
“An east-coast high speed rail network would turbo charge regional economies like Newcastle and revolutionise interstate and intercity travel and trade,” Ms Claydon said.
“The former Labor Government’s feasibility study found that high-speed rail would deliver $2.50 for every $1 invested.”
Ms Claydon said the Turnbull Government must establish a high speed rail planning authority as a critical first step.
“The former Labor Government provided funding for a high speed rail planning authority, to start the complex task of planning the route and, most importantly, securing the land for the rail corridor,” Ms Claydon said.
“Regretfully, the Liberal Government cut the funding and continues to display a stunning lack of vision when it comes to Australia’s future infrastructure needs.”
Ms Claydon said Infrastructure Australia had stressed the urgency of securing the high speed rail corridor between Brisbane and Melbourne.
“Infrastructure Australia has identified high-speed rail between Brisbane and Melbourne via Sydney and Canberra as a ‘high-priority initiative’,” Ms Claydon said.
“But every year we delay, we add hundreds of millions to the cost of securing the corridor. We don’t have time to waste.”
Ms Claydon is counting down her top ten Budget Wishes in the days leading up to the Federal Budget on Tuesday 8 May.