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A FAST rail system linking the nation's big cities will only happen with the Australian Greens maintaining the balance of power, leader Christine Milne says.
She has urged Prime Minister Julia Gillard to get on with the job of nation building and commit, rather than complain about the likely cost, as she did last week.
"We've already seen the prime minister saying 'oh well, this is about financial viability'," Senator Milne told reporters in Canberra on Tuesday.
"Yes it is, but it's also about nation building."
A fast rail system was a big opportunity to take people out of planes and put them on trains.
"You'll only get it with the Greens in balance of power," she said.
Ms Gillard has said a fast rail network would cost a lot of money and questioned whether Australia had the population to maintain it.
Previously, the government supported the concept, saying the estimated $61 billion to $108 billion cost would be worth it.
The hefty price tag was estimated by a feasibility study completed last year, with a second follow-up study due for release by the end of 2012.
Senator Milne said the Greens would continue to push for a fast rail system and light rail within cities as part of the campaign to reduce transport emissions.
The ACT Greens on Tuesday again spruiked their $200 million pledge for a light rail network in Canberra ahead of the territory's assembly election on Saturday.
This article first appeared on www.heraldsun.com.au
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