By Alan Bandt, Greens MP for Melbourne
Imagine getting on a train in the centre of Melbourne and arriving in the centre of Sydney just three hours later. Along the way you will be able to access the internet, use your mobile phone, move freely around the carriages and dine in a restaurant or café.
Regional towns on the outskirts of our great cities will be less than an hour away, transforming their role as economic centres. At the same time we will cut pollution, reduce accidents and bring people and business closer together.
This is the promise of high speed rail, yet so far the Labor government and the opposition have refused to make a firm commitment to investing in our future.
Today I released a report that identifies $48 billion in benefits to the Australian economy from high speed rail, from less congested cities to less polluted skies – and that’s not to mention the benefits to regional towns.
The benefits are clear. What we need now is a clear commitment from the government to invest in high speed rail.
The Agreement that the Greens made to support the Gillard government included a commitment to investigate what high speed rail would mean for Australia and how we’d make it happen. The first phase of this work has been completed and the second phase should be released before the end of the year. It will include options on the financial mechanisms for making high speed rail a reality.
The economic case stacks up – we really could make this happen! What we need is political commitment from Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott.
Please get your family and friends on board by sharing this petition and the report.
Without your support, we couldn’t have secured the first steps to high speed rail in our Agreement. Now, with your support, we can secure high speed rail in Australia.
P.S. We have heard many promises from government on high speed rail before. What we need is a firm commitment. Please sign our petition to get the government on board, and we’ll take your support to them.