NSW Business Chamber releases High Speed Rail report
NSW was once a state that built big, bold, forward looking infrastructure. Our predecessors built the Sydney Harbour Bridge, the Snowy Hydro Scheme and the Sydney Opera House. They turned an isolated penal colony into a world class global city located in close proximity to the booming Asia Pacific region. But what will we have to show for our time as leaders of our great state?
A high speed rail network could be the project we need to make a step change in our State's connectivity and to instil confidence in our own capacity to get things done. But it will require a level of co-operation and partnership between the Federal and NSW Governments that we haven't seen since the Snowy Hydro Scheme.
A high-speed rail network, eventually stretching along the east coast of Australia, will offer a range of benefits to NSW, including better connectivity, and it would promote economic development, particularly in our regional areas. It would provide a mechanism to transform Sydney, improving transport within the city and offering new housing opportunities in regions that were previously too far away for the daily commute.
However, the lack of planning integration between the Federal and NSW Governments on their ideas for high speed rail and for Sydney's CityRail network means that the chance of ever seeing a high speed rail network in Australia is disappearing, as the cost of building a standalone network is prohibitively expensive. Yet planning and building them together in an integrated fashion promises the opportunity for substantial cost sharing.
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