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Is it time Australia drops fast rail for 'fast...ish' trains? This expert thinks so
The chief executive of Australia's largest property developer, Stockland's Mark Steinert, has joined calls for the federal government to commit to funding a Sydney to Canberra high-speed train and other rail projects, following persistent calls from the Reserve Bank and economists to fast-track infrastructure spending.
Mr Steinert and other chief executives, including the private owners of Canberra airport, have also called for the government to reopen the case of a high-speed rail from Sydney to Canberra.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has committed $5 million in funding to investigate high-speed routes between Sydney and Canberra via the future Badgerys Creek Airport. Chris Ratcliffe
"A high-speed rail service between Canberra and Sydney would have a significant, positive impact on productivity, given the frequent travel between, and national importance, of these two cities," Mr Steinert said.
"Investing in high-speed rail boosts economic activity through jobs growth, productivity gains, reduction in congestion and sustainable, improved mobility."
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has committed $5 million in funding to investigate high-speed routes between Sydney and Canberra via the future Badgerys Creek Airport.
ACT chief minister Andrew Barr has said he would call on the federal government to fund a high-speed rail link before the next election, while Federal Labor made a commitment in the last election campaign to fund a high-speed rail link between Melbourne and Brisbane via Sydney and Canberra with a $1 billion promise to start securing the land corridor.
Canberra Airport managing director Stephen Byron said he had been "always positive about a fast rail".
"We have it in our masterplan of the airport which is available for public consultation."
Among Canberra's biggest property developers and investors, Doma Group's managing director Jure Domazet said building a fast train to Sydney was "extremely important".
"In terms of what this would do for Canberra and the regions, it's a game changer," Mr Domazet said.
Mr Domazet said it would take a significant amount of time, cost and traffic out of the connection between the nation's capital and Sydney, as well as encourage new housing and business investment.
This article first appeared on www.afr.com
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