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High-speed rail that runs at 450km/h and offers travel times of less than three hours between the major eastern seaboard capitals would be a major priority of the Australian Greens.
The third force in Australian politics will pledge on Tuesday to use its numbers to force the pace on the design work and corridor acquisition for a high-speed rail link between Melbourne, Canberra, Sydney and Brisbane.
It says the project would radically reduce emissions, and return $2.30 to the economy for every dollar invested.
Greens leader Christine Milne and deputy leader Adam Bandt pushed Julia Gillard's government to complete the scoping work that was released early this year.
Ms Milne and Mr Bandt have submitted the next stages of the 1750-kilometre project - with a potential cost of $114 billion - to independent analysis by the Parliamentary Budget Office.
That found it would take $664 million allocated over four years for the establishment of a High Speed Rail Authority, which would prepare a detailed financing and investment plan, survey the best rail corridors, and secure ownership of the route.
A environmental impact statement would be undertaken at an initial cost of $570 million.
This article first appeared on www.smh.com.au
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