Infrastructure and Transport Minister Anthony Albanese has announced the next stage in the Federal Government's high speed rail planning.
Infrastructure and Transport Minister Anthony Albanese has announced the next stage in the Federal Government's high speed rail planning.

Fast train no benefit to coast, says business group

A HIGH-speed railway linking major cities on the east coast was unlikely to come further north than Casino and so would not impact the dormant Casino to Murwillumbah line, Byron United president Paul Waters says.

Mr Waters says given the estimated $60 billion to $108 billion cost of the link, it was not likely to take in Northern Rivers coastal areas which would make that figure significantly higher due to the more expensive land costs.

He said the actual cost of a link to places like Byron would be too prohibitive.

"There's not a chance it would ever be planned for the coastal strip," he said.

A study released on Wednesday, commissioned by Greens Deputy Leader Adam Bandt and authored by former Deloitte partner Naomi Edwards, says the a high-speed railway linking major cities on the east coast would deliver more than $48 billion in benefits over a 30-year period, much of it to regional areas.

While the research did not focus specifically on northern NSW, Ms Edwards' case study of the Melbourne to Canberra route shows what impact the project would have on regional areas.

The route recommendations contained in the Federal Government's phase one report, released last year, were used for the research.

While just one short list corridor is being considered for the Melbourne to Canberra route, there are five short-listed options for the routes between Newcastle and Brisbane.

Regardless of the selected route there would likely be stations on the Gold Coast, Far North Coast, Northern Rivers and Mid-North Coast.

A campaign has been running in Byron for eight years to reinstate the Casino to Murwillumbah rain line.



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