Call for high speed rail between Grafton and Brisbane
A UNION has called for the major political parties to plan for a high speed rail link between the NSW North Coast and Brisbane, including a stop at Grafton.
The Rail Tram and Bus Union (RTBU) said a high speed rail link servicing an area between Coffs Harbour and Brisbane could boost local economies and ease congestion.
It has called on the major parties to commit to a plan for link between Brisbane and Grafton.
RTBU national secretary Bob Nanva said HSR- with regional stops at Casino, Grafton and Coffs Harbour - would be a game changer for Northern NSW.
"A fast rail connection linking Brisbane and the Gold Coast to the Northern Rivers and North Coast - with stops at Casino, Grafton, and Coffs Harbour - would provide an enormous economic boost to the region," he said.
"The RTBU is calling for the establishment of a $50 billion, 10-year fund to support new high-speed rail links, and to fund a High Speed Rail Authority.
"A priority for the new agency should be to lock in the route, purchase the land required, and to commence planning work for construction of the project.
"A fast rail connection to Brisbane and the Gold Coast would enable many more people to live in Northern NSW and commute to the city. This would not create local growth, it would also help address urban congestion."
Mr Nanva, who was previously a member of the High Speed Rail Advisory Group, said Kevin Hogan and the National Party had left Northern NSW out in the cold by ignoring the benefits of fast, frequent passenger rail services to regional areas.
"The Nationals set the cause of high-speed rail back by decades when they abolished the High Speed Rail Advisory Group and refused to fund a High Speed Rail Authority," he said.
"It's time to get high-speed rail back on the national agenda."