Property Council welcomes the NSW Government plans for fast rail

The Property Council of Australia welcomes the NSW Government’s plans to investigate a fast rail network linking Canberra, Wollongong, Orange and Newcastle to Sydney.

Investigating the viability of fast or faster rail to reduce travel time to regional centres would transform these areas by giving people more choices where they work, live and play.

The NSW Government has announced that they have appointed High Speed Rail expert Professor Andrew McNaughton to examine four potential routes for fast rail.

The four routes identified by the Government are within 300 kilometres from Sydney:

  • Northern Route including the Central Coast and Newcastle.
  • Southern Inland Route including Goulburn and Canberra.
  • Western Route including Lithgow, Bathurst and Orange / Parkes.
  • Southern Coastal Route including Wollongong and Nowra.

The Government is examining an immediate future of faster rail which would see travel time slashed by a third and in the longer term, high speed, which could see travel times decreased by up to 75 per cent.

“Faster rail would be a game changer for both Sydney and regional economies and the Property Council supports any investment in the rail system that means faster travel times,” Jane Fitzgerald, NSW Executive Director of Property Council of Australia.

“A shorter travel time is critical to opening up housing and business opportunities for regional areas as well as decreasing commute times allowing people to access more affordable housing outside of Sydney.

“Faster trains open up opportunities for regional universities to increase their enrolment base, increases local tourism and also makes it more appealing to businesses to have a stronger regional presence.

“Our only concern is that the proposal currently for is for a business case only with a commitment of $4.6 million from the Snowy Hydro Fund. Once these business cases have been completed and assuming they support the project, we would like to see long term financial commitments to commence work on this important transport initiative, along with some hard and fast time-frames.” Ms Fitzgerald said. 

Quotes attributable to Property Council Directors in Canberra, Wollongong and Newcastle:

“A firm commitment to reduce in travel times between Sydney and Canberra would be welcomed and this new commuter belt would open up housing development and increased investment, allowing people to access work opportunities in both Sydney and Canberra,” said Adina Cirson, ACT Executive Director.

“It will also make it easier for business and Government to work together between these two cities as well as open up tourism for both local and overseas visitors,” Ms Cirson said.

“There are well-known benefits from improvements to travel times, and this is something we have been advocating for in the Illawarra region.  It would improve the quality of life to residents and the shorter travel times would make the Illawarra more attractive for people wanting to move to the area.” Michelle Guido, Regional Director for the Illawarra said.

“The Property Council supports any investment in the rail system that will decrease the travel time between the Hunter and Sydney. Both Newcastle and Sydney have growing populations and faster rail will mean people can move more easily between the two,” Anita Hugo, Regional Director for the Hunter said today. 

Contact: William Power 0429 210 982