Federal Member for Newcastle Sharon Claydon has seconded Shadow Infrastructure Minister Anthony Albanese’s push to again get high speed rail off the ground.
Ms Claydon said Newcastle was one of the cities that stood to benefit the most from an east coast high speed rail connection.
“High speed rail has the potential to be an absolute game changer for Newcastle,” Ms Claydon said.
“It will revolutionise travel, create a wealth of jobs and turbocharge the local economy.”
Ms Claydon said it is the fifth time Labor has introduced the Bill to the Parliament because the Government refused to schedule previous bills for debate.
“This Bill would re-establish the High Speed Rail Authority so it can get on with the critical work of planning and securing the land for the rail corridor before it’s built out by urban sprawl,” Ms Claydon said.
“A study done by the former Labor Government showed that high speed rail would return $2.50 for every $1 invested, but we need to get moving on it quickly.”
Ms Claydon said the Abbott Government scrapped the High Speed Rail Planning Authority when it came to power, and no progress has been made under Malcolm Turnbull or Scott Morrison.
“To date, the Liberals have shown a staggering lack of vision about Australia’s future infrastructure needs,” Ms Claydon said.
“The Government says it supports high speed rail but blocks any actual opportunity for progress, but this legislation offers a chance to turn things around.
“We need to heed Infrastructure Australia’s warning about moving fast or we’ll add hundreds of millions to the cost of securing the corridor.
“The Government is on notice. It’s time they stepped up to put the national interest above their own internal chaos.”