ELECTION 2010: Councils back high speed rail

By Angela Dorizas

The Local Government and Shires Associations of NSW have welcomed the Government's election commitment to investigate the feasability of a high speed rail line connecting Melbourne and Brisbane.

Minister for Infrastructure, Anthony Albanese, announced last week that a re-elected Labor Government would undertake a detailed feasibility study to determine the economic viability of a high speed rail network and identify possible undeveloped land corridors along the east coast of Australia.

The study is expected to cost $20 million ant take 18 months to complete.

Following the Government's announcement, the Colaition announced that it too would undertake a feasibility study into high speed rail along the east coast of Australia.

President of the Shires Association of NSW, Bruce Miller, said local government was a strong supporter of a north-south inland rail corridor.

“The inland rail link would provide great economic benefits for places like Parkes and Moree and the other regional communities it would pass through,” Cr Miller said in a statement.

“Not only would it boost employment, but it would encourage growth and improve access to markets for regional products.”

Cr Miller called on the Coalition to back the proposed inland rail network.

“We call upon the coalition to put aside politics and fully support this very important initiative,” he said.

Leader of the Australian Greens, Bob Brown, said his party had long been calling for a high speed rail network.

He described the inland rail network as the “21st century transport option of choice between big cities”.

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