Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 10 Hansard (Tuesday, 12 September 2017) . . Page.. 3545 ..
MR BARR: The ACT government will continue to work closely with New South Wales, in particular the New South Wales transport and infrastructure minister, Andrew Constance, whom I met with at the end of that slow trip to Sydney earlier in the year, to put forward a joint ACT-New South Wales proposal to the commonwealth for funding from its national rail program.
We are also working with the New South Wales government on possible investment in new high-speed tilt trains and associated infrastructure upgrades, which would at least bring this service into the late 20th century. An improved rail service to Sydney will require significant investment on the New South Wales side of the border, and I am keen to work with New South Wales and the commonwealth to make this necessary upgrade a reality.
Both the ACT and New South Wales governments are very supportive of the Canberra region as a true region, with Canberra at its heart, but with the surrounding local government areas strengthening their economies. Improving rail links between Canberra and Sydney will certainly help make this happen. I am confident that we will be able to speed up this rail link to get people and freight moving between our capital cities.
MS CHEYNE: Chief Minister, how will both Canberra and the City of Sydney benefit from a better connection?
MR BARR: I discussed the rail line at last month’s Council of Capital City Lord Mayors meeting. Sydney Lord Mayor, Clover Moore, was enthusiastic about the economic opportunities of improved services between Canberra and Sydney. Upgrading the track to suit more modern trains would cut the journey time down from the four to 4½ hours it currently is, making rail between Sydney and Canberra competitive with current driving, bus or flying options.
This opens up the door to increased labour market movement and growth, tourism opportunities and better business connections for Canberra. Improving this strategic transport link would support economic growth and export opportunities for small businesses in the Canberra region and, importantly, provide genuine transport choices for people travelling between the national capital and Australia’s largest city.
The New South Wales government’s south-east and tablelands regional plan recognises a connected and borderless Canberra region with our city at its heart. A better connection to Sydney will help Canberra achieve recognition as the world-class events destination that we have outlined in our 2025 major events strategy. We will continue to advocate for a rail service befitting a 21st century nation and for the benefits to be gained by Canberra, Sydney and the surrounding regions.
Waste recycling facility—government shareholder status
MS LEE: My question is to the Chief Minister. Chief Minister, on 2 August you advised the Assembly: