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Air chaos reinforces need for high-speed rail

Jul 5, 2011Update

The recent chaos caused by ash clouds, plus the Tiger Airways grounding and possible withdrawal from the Australian market, has highlighted the need for Australia to invest in high-speed rail linking mainland capitals.

Heavily dependent on air travel, Australia is ready for fast rail that would offset future price hikes due to aviation fuel costs, weather patterns and natural disasters.

The economic cost of the recent disruptions to air travel have been massive. A high-speed network would offer people and goods a viable transport alternative to flying and reduce our dangerous reliance on long-haul road transport.

It’s time to kick-start this major nation-building infrastructure investment. We are falling dangerously behind in international competitiveness with countries such as China investing heavily if high speed rail. The recently opened Beijing-Shanghai High-Speed Railway is the first of eight high-speed railway corridors that China plans to build by 2015.

The Federal Government has announced funding for a feasibility study into a high-speed rail link between Newcastle and Sydney, which would be the first stage in a bigger network.

The idea of a high-speed rail network has been talked about for decades, but the time for talk is over and the RTBU calls on the Federal Government to move quickly on this essential issue.

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