As part of the Government’s Plan for Australia’s Future Population to take pressure off the big cities and support the growth of the regions, $8 million will be provided to fund a business case for faster rail between Sydney and Parkes via Lithgow, Bathurst and Orange.
Assistant Minister to the Deputy Prime Minister and Federal Member for Calare Andrew Gee said the detailed assessments will determine the next priorities for funding and construction.
“I’m very excited that the Australian Government is providing $8 million to fund a business case for faster rail between Sydney and Parkes via Lithgow, Bathurst and Orange,” Mr Gee said.
“This initiative is all about easing congestion in the big cities while at the same time encouraging growth in regional Australia.
“If we want to keep encouraging decentralisation and if we want to keep reducing the tyranny of distance between the city and the bush, fast rail is a great way to do it.
“I’ll certainly be encouraging all of our local councils and regional development organisations to get involved in the formulation of this business case because I think it’s a real opportunity for the whole region for both passenger and freight services.”
The Government’s 20-year fast rail plan invests $40m for detailed assessments of five additional corridors, complementing the three presently underway that the federal government has funded, and others that state governments are funding.
These detailed assessments will determine the next priorities for funding and construction.
The Australian Government will create a National Fast Rail Agency to guide the work, determine priorities based on the assessments, work with state governments and communities and the private sector and provide innovative finance solutions. The Agency will be established by 1 July 2019.