Bryce Wilson, Labor Candidate for Monaro, and Luke Foley, NSW Opposition Leader, have jointly announced a partnership with the ACT Government to establish a faster rail service between Sydney and Canberra.
Mr Wilson and Mr Foley made the formal funding pledge at Queanbeyan Railway Station alongside ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr, who is matching NSW Labor’s commitment of $5 million to bring the fund to $10 million.
Dr Mike Kelly, federal Member for Eden-Monaro, was also in attendance.
The joint NSW-ACT Labor commitment puts regional public transport on the agenda for the upcoming state election, to be held early next year.
Last November the ACT Government entered into a memorandum of understanding with the Liberal-National NSW Government to promote greater co-operation on cross border issues, among them the benefits of a faster train journey between the two state capitals.
Reducing the current journey time of four hours on the train between the state capital and Queanbeyan would encourage tens of thousands of people to commute to those cities from towns.
A faster rail service could qualify for funds generated by the sale of NSW’s share in the Snowy Hydro if it meets criteria outlined by NSW Labor.
“Residents across Queanbeyan and surrounds will welcome this commitment to get this project back on the table. We need to get this crucial business case planning done so we can consider the next steps,” Mr Wilson said.
“I’ve taken the family to Sydney on this train, and I have family come to visit on the train, all of us across the community know that we need to have a look at how we could improve this transport link.
“Residents and I welcome this next step in unlocking the potential of our region.”
“Labor is working together to deliver better rail for the region so that towns along the Sydney to Canberra corridor can truly achieve their potential,” Mr Foley said.
“Andrew Barr and I know that both ACT and NSW communities can benefit equally from a faster rail connection.”