House debates

Wednesday, 28 September 2022


High Speed Rail Authority Bill 2022; Second Reading

6:39 pm

Photo of Patrick GormanPatrick Gorman (Perth, Australian Labor Party, Assistant Minister to the Prime Minister) Share this | Hansard source

A very beautiful part of the world, and I'm sure it's equally beautiful at 300 kilometres an hour.

That's why we need this essential, independent, impartial body for the effective and responsible development of Australia's new high-speed rail system. The authority will bring together state and territory governments, industry, business and communities, to optimise our nation's first long-term investment in fast rail. The first priority of course will be an updated analysis of the commencement of work on that fast, reliable, cost-effective connection between Sydney and Newcastle, part of eventually connecting Sydney all the way up to Brisbane. The High Speed Rail Authority will provide expert advice on policy and standards. It will secure the corridors necessary to build this nation-building project and allow for the wider expansion of the network over time, eventually bringing in Canberra, Sydney, Melbourne and many regional centres.

This is about vision. It's also about knowing that, if you want to do something that requires long-term planning, you've got to act quickly. That's why, in the first four months of this government, we're bringing in this legislation, because we are 100 per cent committed to making sure that talk turns into bureaucratic action, that bureaucratic action turns into policy action and that then we actually start building this thing. Over time, we won't be debating the legislation about the authority, but I'm sure we'll see members from all over this chamber start to advocate as to why it should stop in their particular town or why it should have an extra train service from time to time. I look forward to the day when we have a granular debate like that, because that will be the time when we have had a truly successful implementation of the high-speed rail network that Australia has waited for for so long. I commend the bill to the House.


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