Of Airports and High Speed Trains

Parliament house flag post

Of Airports and High Speed Trains

Posted 11/04/2013 by Matthew James


The discussion of a High Speed Train (HST) along the east coast of Australia has rumbled on for decades. But now it's running into the Sydney airport issue. The government has recently released a study into the feasibility of a HST system and is completing another report about a location for a second Sydney Airport (SSA).
 
The Australian Greens argued in late 2012 that a new report, commissioned by Greens Deputy Leader Adam Bandt, outlined a strong economic case for High Speed Rail (HSR) and removed the need to build a second airport for Sydney. The study also concluded that $48 billion in benefits would accrue from a HSR network along the East Coast from Melbourne, to Canberra, Sydney and Brisbane. High Speed Rail: Benefits that add up, A report for the Australian Greens, authored by Naomi Edwards, claimed that high-speed rail would lead to shorter commute times, reduced congestion, fewer accidents, and less pollution than existing transport options.

 The Australian and NSW Governments are considering the findings of the Joint Study on aviation capacity for the Sydney region with respect to Winton, Richmond, Badgerys Creek and Canberra Airports. We may expect an announcement on the outcomes of the governments’ joint airport study sometime in 2013.
 
The issue combines with the release on 11 April 2013 of the Government’s High Speed Rail Study (Phase Two) which has estimated that east coast construction would cost about $114 billion and take until 2053 to complete. The Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Anthony Albanese noted that the 1750 kilometre track from Brisbane to Melbourne track would include over 144 kilometres of tunnels, with many in Sydney. And he mentioned that noise levels would reach 100 decibels as a train passed. The first section (Sydney to Canberra) would start by 2035 as shown in the online route maps.
High Speed Rail Studies
The former Very Fast Train (VFT) proposal and later HST plans for passenger services along the east coast have been well studied since the mid-1980s. So far, no proposal has proven commercially viable without a significant public sector funding contribution and/or other forms of financial concession such as for lands. For a list of earlier reports, see the two Library Publications High speed trains between Canberra and Sydney from 1996 and Australian Very Fast Trains – A Chronology of June 1998.
 
Before the current studies, the last major report was the 2002 East Coast Very High Speed Train Scoping Study commissioned by the then Commonwealth Government in December 2000. In 2010, the Cooperative Research Centre for Rail Innovation released a study to synthesise the current knowledge of High Speed Rail in the Australian context and to provide directions for further investigation.
During the 2010 federal election campaign, the Greens, the Australian Labor Party and the Liberal National Party Coalition all announced policy commitments to a feasibility study into an east coast, high speed train system. As well, plans were advanced for completion of an inland rail route to serve freight transport. The Terms of Reference for the latest study were released on 31 October 2010. The study by the Department of Infrastructure and Transport drew on international experience, public and private sector expertise, growth forecasts and other contemporary data. The initial focus, Moving forward with high speed rail completed by July 2011, identified requirements for a viable HSR network, including consideration of route and station options and costing.
 
Bullet Train Party
The Bullet Train for Canberra Party ran six candidates in the ACT Legislative Assembly election held on 20 October 2012. The party ran two candidates in each of the three electorates. Information about each of them may be extracted from the Party’s information sheet. The party’s policy was discussed in an article covering public transport issues during the campaign. Buoyed by the campaign’s success, where it won about 4 per cent of the primary votes, the party announced it will field candidates at the 2013 federal election.
 
 Sydney Airport Futures
The library publication Second Sydney Airport: a decade of deferral 2002–2012 provides detail of the airport saga. In its 8 May 2012 Budget, the Government announced the intention to begin a detailed investigation of the suitability of Wilton as a SSA, while ensuring that Sydney Airport Corporation continued to invest in the existing main airport. The study would also assess the scope for RAAF Base Richmond to handle limited civil operations. The Minister wrote to Sydney Airport to develop a new Master Plan and initiated consultation requirements under its share sale. Meanwhile, there has been a business lobby push for an expansion of the existing Kingsford Smith airport through the construction of new facilities at Towra Point in Botany Bay. The Towra Point study was conducted by IAC Global consulting. Minister Albanese maintains the need for a SSA with or without this or an HST, but New South Wales Premier Barry O'Farrell has previously pushed for Canberra as the second airport.
 
Image source: author's own

Comments

  • 21/01/2014 1:59 PM
    Anonymous said:

    My intention isn't to be faceitous but can we compare these construction times to what is current best practice? I am quite certain that almost half a century is excessive. After all, that represents a large portion of the time it took to build the entire country as we know it, starting from settlement post Captain Cook!


Thank you for your comment. If it does not require moderation, it will appear shortly.

Add your comment

[Click to expand]

We welcome your comments, or additional information which is relevant to a post. These can be added by clicking on the ‘Add your comment’ option above. Please note that the Parliamentary Library will moderate comments, and reserves the right not to publish comments that are inconsistent with the objectives of FlagPost. This includes spam, profanity and personal abuse, as well as comments that are factually incorrect or politically partisan. We will close comments after three months.




Captcha
Generate a new image
Type characters from the image:

Facebook LinkedIn Twitter Add | Email Print

FlagPost

Flagpost is a blog on current issues of interest to members of the Australian Parliament


Parliamentary Library Logo showing Information Analysis & Advice

Archive

Syndication

Tagcloud

Refugees asylum climate change immigration Australian foreign policy parliament social security welfare reform school education welfare policy health financing elections Australian Defence Force emissions trading women higher education private health insurance people trafficking Indigenous Australians illicit drugs gambling health reform federal election 2010 United Nations Employment Asia Middle East Medicare Australian Bureau of Statistics statistics sport health forced labour federal budget Afghanistan Industrial Relations Carbon Pricing Mechanism politics income management dental health United States aid disability child protection environment poker machines Australia in the Asian Century Australian Sports Anti-Doping Agency steroids World Anti-Doping Agency National Disability Insurance Scheme detention aged care 43rd Parliament slavery health system Fair Work Act Australian Public Service governance labour force people smuggling transport debt taxation international relations constitution New Zealand food WADA Australian Crime Commission pharmaceutical benefits scheme public service reform law enforcement children's health Aviation foreign debt gross debt net debt defence capability parliamentary procedure Senate Senators and Members ALP ASADA Australian Federal Police criminal law Newstart Parenting Payment multiculturalism Youth Allowance sea farers federal state relations accountability Papua New Guinea youth paid parental leave pensions same sex relationships corruption coal seam gas customs planning federal election 2013 Australian Electoral Commission doping OECD crime health risks International Women's Day Gonski Review of Funding for Schooling sex slavery Special Rapporteur Northern Territory Emergency Response social policy terrorist groups Australian Security Intelligence Organisation carbon tax mining High Court Higher Education Loan Program HECS military history electoral reform employer employee renewable energy regional unemployment fishing European Union Federal Court family assistance skilled migration banking United Nations Security Council Australian economy forestry food labelling vocational education and training Drugs UK Parliament welfare systems Indonesia social media children Constitutional reform local government codes of conduct terrorist financing homelessness Parliamentary remuneration money laundering Trafficking in Persons Report energy science social inclusion human rights paternalism terrorism World Trade Organization Australia public health China housing affordability bulk billing political parties water productivity health policy Governor-General US economy trade unions domestic violence export liquefied natural gas foreign bribery firearms question time speaker superannuation public housing election results by-election expertise public policy climate Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change leadership voting Department of Agriculture Fisheries and Forestry regulation Pacific Islands reserved seats research and development new psychoactive substances synthetic drugs UNODC ASIO intelligence community carbon markets animal health middle class welfare ADRV Census Indigenous constitutional recognition of local government referendum consumer laws PISA competition policy royal commission US politics violence against women language education baby bonus Leaders of the Opposition citizen engagement policymaking Australia Greens servitude Trafficking Protocol forced marriage Population rural and regional mental health alcohol entitlements ministries Hung Parliament social citizenship maritime Iran transparency ANZUS regional students school chaplains federal budget 2011-12 salary Medicare Locals primary care Building the Education Revolution smoking plain packaging tobacco cigarettes Asia; Japan; international relations Work Health and Safety Migration; asylum seekers; regional processing China; United States; international relations fiscal policy Racial Discrimination Act; social policy; human rights; indigenous Australians Foreign policy Southeast Asia Israel Palestine asylum refugees immigration political finance donations foreign aid disability employment Economics efficiency human rights; Racial Discrimination Act employment law bullying asylum seekers Animal law; food copyright Australian Law Reform Commission industry peace keeping contracts workplace policies same-sex marriage disorderly conduct integrity retirement Parliament House Australian Secret Intelligence Service welfare standing orders prime ministers election timetable sitting days First speech defence budget submarines workers financial sector Canada Somalia United Kingdom GDP Tasmania world heritage political engagement leave loading Trade; tariffs; safeguards; Anti-dumping public interest disclosure whistleblowing Productivity Commission limitation period universities Ireland cancer gene patents genetic testing suspension of standing and sessional orders live exports infant mortality honorary citizen railways disciplinary tribunals standard of proof World Health Organisation arts international students skilled graduate visas temporary employment visas apologies roads Italy national heritage NHMRC nutrition anti-dumping Rent Assistance obesity evidence law sacrament of confession sexual abuse US presidential election international days DFAT UN General Assembly deregulation Regulation Impact Statements administrative law small business Breaker Morant regional engagement social determinants of health abortion Members suspension workplace health and safety marine reserves hearing TAFE Victoria astronomy resources sector YMCA youth parliament Korea fuel rebate Australian Greens presidential nomination Racial Discrimination Act political parties preselection solar hot water Financial Action Taskforce Horn of Africa peacekeeping piracy Great Barrier Reef Stronger futures political financing political education Social Inclusion Board early childhood National Quality Framework for Early Childhood Education and Care Murray-Darling Basin sanctions Norway hospitals republic President Barack Obama Presidential visits qantas counselling Korean peninsula Work Choices biosecurity hendra environmental law federalism federation preselection therapeutic goods Therapeutic Goods Administration plebiscites computer games pests suicide nuclear COAG Ministerial Councils floods ADHD stimulant medication advertising electricity extradition standards conscience votes poverty preventative health rural health coastal erosion Parliamentary Budget Office NATO work-life balance

Show all
Show less