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Inland rail a trifecta for Toowoomba region: mayor
GIPPSLAND hasn't given up the fight to have a high speed rail route run through its communities.
A federal study scratched Gippsland from the list of best route contenders for a rail line between Melbourne and Sydney but the Gippsland Local Government Network has called on the state and federal governments to conduct a cost-benefit analysis into the Gippsland location.
The Federal Department of Infrastructure and Transport’s High Speed Rail Study is currently in phase two where a deviation through Shepparton has been adopted.
GLGN chair and mayor of East Gippsland Shire, Cr Richard Ellis said the estimated track length from Melbourne to Sydney via the Gippsland alignment is 950km with an estimated cost of $53.2 billion, only 6.6 per cent more than the currently preferred Hume region route which is 877km and estimated to cost $49.9 billion.
“The Gippsland corridor was eliminated prematurely, while costs are higher than the preferred Hume option, the benefits are also higher,” Cr Ellis said.
“The extension of high speed rail through Gippsland with stations at Dandenong, Pakenham, Warragul, Traralgon, Bairnsdale and Cann River will place these cities within commuting distance of Melbourne and Canberra, providing a source of lower cost housing and enhancing the economies of these cities and Gippsland in general.
“In addition, high speed rail through Gippsland would ease traffic congestion on the existing Melbourne east-west transport corridor and also make it possible to retire V/line services to Gippsland, utilising freed up track capacity for freight services.”
Cr Ellis also said the Gippsland corridor would travel through Canberra and ease airport congestion in Melbourne and Sydney.
The East Coast High Speed Rail Study Phase One found that a Gippsland route would generate economic growth for towns with stations but also found that there was also the potential for significant impacts on sensitive environmental areas primary through Kosciuszko National Park.
This article first appeared on www.weeklytimesnow.com.au
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