On Thursday 7 June, a forum was held in Wagga Wagga on the benefits that a High Speed Rail (HSR) network could bring to Regional Australia.
Mr Michael McCormack, Member for Riverina hosted a High Speed Rail (HSR) and Regional Development forum at the Country Comfort Inn, Wagga Wagga.
Mr McCormack said the forum explored the real benefits HSR could provide for cities and towns in regional Australia.
“High Speed Rail has been on and off the agenda for decades and as it continues to generate considerable media coverage, I believe it is important that regional voices weigh into the conversation,” said Mr McCormack.
Speakers at the Forum included Dale Budd (long time HSR advocate), Bryan Nye (CEO of the ARA), Matt McInnes (Executive Manager Siemens), Tomokazu Minesaki (from Central Japan Railway) as well as Professor David Henshell author of the study.
Bryan Nye, Australasian Railway Association CEO, said the ARA took the opportunity to launch the study on the potential benefits HSR could bring for regional NSW and Victoria.
“In today’s dollars, the study has found that a 250km/hr High Speed Rail network from Sydney to Melbourne will provide non-work related economic and social benefits worth an amazing $5.1 billion per annum,” said Mr Nye.
“The study also found that a 250km/hr High Speed Rail link will increase the household income of regional Australians by 1.3 percent per annum which is almost $1000 per regional Australian household,” continued Mr Nye.
Attendees at the forum in Wagga Wagga included RDA Chairs and Executives, Local Government Mayors and General Managers, business and industry representatives from the Riverina, and a range of community sector stakeholders interested in the benefits of HSR.
Importantly, the study, conducted by the University of Sydney’s Institute of Transport and Logistics Studies, focused the study on the Sydney – Canberra – Melbourne corridor.
The Federal Government is currently undertaking Phase Two of its current study on a High Speed Rail network for the East Coast of Australia.
The Department of Infrastructure is leading the study and further information, including the Terms of Reference, and the Phase One Study report can be found HERE.
The ARA/University of Sydney Study can be found HERE.