HIGH SPEED RAIL & THE CENTRAL COAST FORUM

Date Published: 07-06-16

Mr. Bob Ward, Deputy Chair of Regional Development Australia Central Coast, invites government, business and community leaders to this month’s Focus on the Coast forum regarding the proposed High Speed Rail (HSR) network.

During the forum, Mr. Shohei Yoshida, General Manager of Central Japan Railway will explain, the benefits that the world-renowned Shinkansen (Bullet Train) HSR system has brought to Japan and its surrounding regions and how these benefits could translate to our Central Coast region.

Joining Mr. Yoshida, Mr. Steve McGillvaray, Senior Development Manager of the Lederer Group will discuss the impact that HSR could have for the Central Coast and in particular the Gosford Alive Project. Well-known local business commentator, Edgar Adams will also discuss the benefits that HSR would deliver to industry, tourism and local businesses in light of the 20 minute travel times from the Sydney CBD.

Mr. Ward said, “In 2010, the Commonwealth Government commissioned a strategic study on the implementation of HSR on the east coast of Australia. The study was established to inform the Australian Government, the ACT and state governments' consideration of next steps for HSR in Australia. The study was undertaken in two phases.

The Phase 1 report was launched on 4 August 2011. The report identified corridors and station locations and potential patronage, as well as providing an indicative estimate of the cost to build an HSR network.

The Phase 2 study that was released in April 2013, built on the work of Phase 1, but was considerably broader and deeper in objectives and scope, and refined many of the Phase 1 estimates, particularly the demand and cost estimates”.

The report found that:

  • The HSR network would comprise approximately 1,748 kilometres of dedicated route between Brisbane-Sydney-Canberra-Melbourne.
  • The preferred alignment includes four capital city stations, four city-peripheral stations, and stations at the Gold Coast, Casino, Grafton, Coffs Harbour, Port Macquarie, Taree, Newcastle, the Central Coast, Southern Highlands, Wagga Wagga, Albury-Wodonga and Shepparton.
  • Once fully operational (from 2065), HSR could carry approximately 84 million passengers each year, with express journey times of less than three hours between Melbourne-Sydney and Sydney-Brisbane.
  • The optimal staging for the HSR program would involve building the Sydney-Melbourne line first, starting with the Sydney-Canberra sector. Subsequent stages would be Canberra-Melbourne, Newcastle-Sydney, Brisbane-Gold Coast and Gold Coast-Newcastle.

Mr Ward said, “This forum is intended to give government, business and community leaders the opportunity to learn firsthand the status of the HSR East Coast initiative and how the community can become involved if they wish to advocate for the delivery of this long term infrastructure project.

With an additional 70,000 people predicted to live in our region by 2036 and the need to create 30,000 new jobs over the next 15 years, the region needs to carefully consider projects such as HSR as an enabler to support our growth projections, increase local economic development activity and encourage more investment in our region.”