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Airport director gives thumbs up to rail report

Canberra Airport managing director Stephen Byron believes the latest report on high speed rail, which sets a much quicker timeframe of 17 years for the Sydney-Canberra leg - sets a new benchmark for the transport agenda.

The Federal Government's High Speed Rail Advisory Group recommends building a $23 billion link from Sydney to Canberra first, to create enough momentum for the overall project, worth an estimated $114 billion.

The latest report says locating a station in Civic, rather than the airport, would deliver $2 billion to $3 billion more in benefits, but Mr Byron says any decision on station locations is premature.

"The next step beyond land acquisition will be to run a tender with private sector and in so doing get the major high speed train operators involved.

" I think I would leave it to them to decide whether the station is in Civic or the airport," he said.

It made sense to keep open both options

"In 17 years time we will be a globally-connected airport to Singapore, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur and also China.

"And international experience will tell you operators of high speed trains like integrating the product with airports because it drives greater demand.

"There will be such a big boost to Canberra having high speed rail, it doesn't matter either way. I think the benefits of that to the regional economy and indeed to our own business will be larger than a negative."

13 comments

  • Labor proposing another multi-billion project. Sure, it will work ... Not likely.

    Commenter
    greg
    Date and time
    August 26, 2013, 2:37PM
    • Get back on the couch Greg. Nothing ventured...

      Commenter
      Stunsail
      Date and time
      August 26, 2013, 2:57PM
    • Yeah what do we need all of this expensive infrastructure for? It's not like China, Indonesia, Malaysia or the rest of Asia are wasting there money on the stuff, They are probably using it wisely..... like providing middle class welfare, cutting company tax or giving grants to failing foreign multi nationals.

      Commenter
      JohnH
      Date and time
      August 26, 2013, 3:01PM
    • Sorry greg, I didn't realise you were a specialist in urban development and ultra-fast high-density public transport. Hell, why do we even need government departments when we have you to point the way?

      Commenter
      @greg
      Location
      Brisbane
      Date and time
      August 26, 2013, 3:36PM
    • Without some vision nothing gets done Greg. Many Australians bagged previous projects which we now take for granted (Sydney Harbour Bridge, Opera House spring to mind). Would this project run over budget and late? Highly likely but it will be worth it in the end.

      Commenter
      Duffster
      Date and time
      August 26, 2013, 8:54PM
    • What have the libeals promised and actually delivered on in regrads to anything remotely similar to a nation building project lately greg?

      cynicism of people like you who look at the party and not the policy typifies the |whats in it for me generation"

      high speed rail, if established, will be the biggest nation building project this country has ever attempted, since the snowy hydro scheme...

      i dont see any other policy from the right wing, that supports anything remotely forward thinking and future proof that will beneft many instead of a select few...

      Commenter
      ajames
      Date and time
      August 27, 2013, 3:37AM
  • I love that Byron says station location decisions are premature.

    Yeah, because they plan on pinching this from the city.

    Commenter
    Gus da bloke
    Date and time
    August 26, 2013, 3:18PM
    • Stephen Byron gives the thumbs up, must be a motza in it for him well.

      Commenter
      NITRO GANGSTER
      Date and time
      August 26, 2013, 6:23PM
      • 114 billion ... It would be good if it came so cheap. But no one has even started to think of things that the line can put them out of. Things like how the train affects me trying to read my shopping list when I'm walking out my front gate, the stress levels I would carry with me thinking that our train is much slower than the Scandinavian equivalent. I would like to be compensated for these, and forty more things I haven't thought of yet!

        Commenter
        Sprigmark
        Date and time
        August 26, 2013, 8:26PM
        • The concept of a High Speed Train in Australia is economically ludicrous. To be even remotely viable it requires a very large travelling population. Sydney-Canberra is similar to London-Paris however the latter has a catchment population of over 10 million at each end - more than the whole of Australia's population. For most there would be no saving in door to door time as, even with our pathetically low speed limits, I can drive from home in Sydney's north to any business area in Canberra/Queanbeyan in 3 hours but it takes an hour from home to the platform in Sydney, over an hour projected journey time plus embarkation time and a further 45 plus minutes to get transport to my ACT destination. Fares and other costs at each end must be added to the putated train fare. The cost of a fast train cannot be recouped on low density routes. To be viable it would need all Canberrans to visit Sydney every fortnight. It is a ridiculous proposition that should be dumped and no more time, money or effort should be wasted on it.

          Commenter
          MFL
          Date and time
          August 26, 2013, 9:48PM

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