Albanese won't let go of high speed rail proposal
WHEN it comes to a high speed rail line between Brisbane and Melbourne which would include a stop in Coffs Harbour, the opposition spokesperson for infrastructure, transport, cities and regional development is like a dog with a bone.
Anthony Albanese has called on the Turnbull government to reinstate the $50 million allocated to begin work on the proposed rail link which will travel via Sydney and Canberra.
"High speed rail should have been under way by now," Mr Albanese said.
"In 2013 the former Labor government finalised a comprehensive study that found high speed rail was feasible and would, for example, return more than $2 in public benefit for every dollar invested on the Sydney to Melbourne leg.
"We allocated $50 million to establish a planning authority to work with other governments on detailed planning and to begin to secure the corridor but in 2013 the incoming Coalition government stopped the project in its tracks by cancelling the funding.
"Since then the government has done nothing to take the proposal forward, including refusing to bring on debate on my private member's bill seeking to secure progress, which is before the parliament."
The Labor Party stalwart said a high speed rail line down Australia's east coast would revolutionise interstate travel, allowing for people to move between capital cities in as little as three hours.
Mr Albanese also said he believed the project would turbo charge economic development of the regional centres along its route slated to have a high speed rail station.
Coffs Harbour being one of them.
"The planning has been done. There's no need for posturing or thought bubbles," he said.
"The government should just get on with advancing the project."