19 April 2016
High Speed Rail down Australia’s east coast would revolutionise interstate travel and turbo charge economic growth in the regional towns and cities along its path, including Newcastle.
That is why today I again seconded Anthony Albanese’s Bill to re-introduce the planning authority to progress delivery of a high-speed rail link between Brisbane and Melbourne via Newcastle, Sydney and Canberra.
Rather than support the Bill or even have a debate, Malcolm Turnbull gagged the Shadow Minister and me from speaking, just days after telling the media he supports the project.
In 2013, the incoming Liberal Government cut $54 million that had been allocated by the former Labor Government to establish a High Speed Rail Authority.
With no other legislation or business before the House of Representatives today, the Government had a golden opportunity to discuss a project of great national interest.
But Mr Turnbull refused to allow debate, turning the House of Representatives into the Seinfeld Parliament – a Parliament about nothing.
A Labor Government will move quickly to create a High Speed Rail Authority to work closely with the governments of Queensland, NSW, Victoria and the Australian Capital Territory to advance planning.
Importantly, the authority would also begin the process of acquiring the rail corridor before it is built out by urban sprawl.
High-speed rail would bring considerable economic and social benefit to Newcastle and I will continue to fight alongside the Shadow Minister for this important nation-building project.