The state’s peak business organisation, the NSW Business Chamber, believes the Government’s announcement of an investigation into the establishment of a fast train network, will be well received by the business communities in the identified areas of NSW.
“Investment in improved rail connectivity will provide long term benefits for NSW,” NSW Business Chamber CEO Stephen Cartwright said.
“Professor Andrew McNaughton, an expert in this area, will lead a dedicated panel of experts and will provide recommendations to Government,” Mr Cartwright said.
“Improved transport connectivity between our regions and Sydney will boost our state economy and build additional economic capacity, providing new employment opportunities and growth. Rail transport is one of the most cost effective ways of improving transport connectivity for both passengers and freight.
“While fast rail between major capital cities has long been discussed and put in the ‘too hard basket’, not enough focus has been placed on bringing Sydney and regional centres together.
The four routes identified are:
· 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.
“Improved connectivity along rail corridors provides incredible opportunities for business, with employees able to live in regional towns and having their commute dramatically reduced. It is important that we look at new rail corridors linking the new Western Sydney Airport and Greater Sydney to regional NSW.
“Fast rail can be a game changer for our regions providing an opportunity to transform transport, encourage population growth and diversify regional economies. Investing in rail will bolster both regional and state economic capacity and will have the added benefit of reducing the demands on existing and future road infrastructure,” Mr Cartwright said.