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High-speed rail connecting Melbourne to Brisbane a ‘game-changer’: Anthony Albanese

Anthony Albanese has thrown his support behind a high-speed rail. Images: AAP

Australian labor party politician and former deputy Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has thrown his weight behind proposals for a high-speed rail connecting Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney.

In an interview on Wednesday, the member for Grayndler and shadow minister for transport and infrastructure suggested Australia should simply “bite the bullet” and extend the proposed rail to include Brisbane.

“It is appalling that it takes longer today to travel by rail to Newcastle from Sydney and the other way around than it did 50 years ago unfortunately,” he told 2HD Newcastle.

“But the truth is the terrain is difficult which is why, in my view, we should bite the bullet and go for a high-speed rail connection not just through to Sydney but right through to Melbourne and then north to Brisbane.”

He said the Melbourne-Newcastle corridor would make the most sense and, while expensive, would be a “real game changer”.

Continuing, Albanese explained that the Labor Party has studied how to make a high-speed rail a reality, and said “nation-building requires vision”.

High-speed rail an election favourite

This isn’t the first time a high-speed rail service has come up in discussion prior to a major election – it’s been discussed since the early 1980s.

However, talk of the rail has reignited with both NSW and Australia heading to the polls in coming months.

In October last year Transport NSW unveiled plans for a high-speed rail network promising to slash journey times by up to 75 per cent.

This proposal included a route connecting the Central Coast, Taree, Port Macquarie and Newcastle, a southern inland route connecting Goulburn and Canberra and a western route connecting Lithgow, Bathurst and Orange and a coastal route connecting Nowra and Wollongong.

Speaking at the time, Premier Gladys Berijiklian said the proposed network would be “unlike any other project, and we will make it a reality”.

“We need to make it easier for people to consider moving to regional NSW and there is no better way to do that than building a fast rail network,” she said, adding that this was not an election stunt.

Berijiklian appointed a rail infrastructure committee in December last year to advice the government on a potential high-speed network.

Another super-fast train system pitched to the government promised to get commuters from Melbourne to Sydney in an incredible 40 minutes.

That plan was laid out by LA company, Hyperloop Transportation Technologies (HyperloopTT) in a submission to a federal government inquiry.

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