A fast-rail network including Coffs Harbour, Grafton and Casino is still at the forefront of Anthony Albanese’s mind.
A fast-rail network including Coffs Harbour, Grafton and Casino is still at the forefront of Anthony Albanese’s mind. Iurii Kovalenko

Albanese pushing to speed up slow track to fast rail

WHILE the Federal Governement has resisted following up on a plan for a high-speed rail connecting Brisbane, Sydney, Canberra and Melbourne, Opposition spokesperson for Infrastructure and Transport, Anthony Albanese continues to talk up the benefits of such a project.

The high-speed rail link proposes stops be located in Coffs Harbour and Grafton as well as other Northern NSW regional centres such as Casino and Port Macquarie.

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In an opinion piece he called "The Future Is On Track" Mr Albanese said the construction of such a link would provide plenty of productivity gains.

"A feasibility study completed by the former Labor Government in 2013 found that for every dollar invested in high-speed rail between Sydney and Melbourne, there would be $2.15 worth of economic benefits," Mr Albanese wrote.

The high-speed rail project would see trains travelling as fast as 350kph, allowing passengers to travel from Brisbane to Sydney in about three hours.

"The benefits to travellers are obvious but imagine the economic spinoffs for development of regional communities on routes like the Gold Coast, Casino, Grafton, Coffs Harbour, Port Macquarie, Taree, Newcastle, the Central Coast, Southern Highlands, Wagga Wagga, Albury-Wodonga and Shepparton," the Labor stalwart continued.

"Capital city workers could live in regional cities and commute and city-based businesses could easily move their operations to the regions, knowing the major city was only a short train ride away."


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