High speed rail - let’s get on with it: Bandt

The Australian Greens have called on Labor to immediately get on with starting to build High Speed Rail for Australia's east coast.

Today's report, the culmination of Greens' work negotiated through our agreement to form Government, proves that high speed rail is a great opportunity for Australia's economy and environment, said Greens Deputy Leader and High Speed Rail spokesperson, Adam Bandt.

"This announcement proves the Greens right. High speed rail is not only feasible, it will cut pollution and generate positive economic returns for the country," said Mr Bandt.

"High speed rail's time has come. Let's get on with it.

"There should be money in this year's federal budget for a dedicated High Speed Rail Authority to implement the project.

"The government should immediately start an environmental impact assessment and work with State governments to reserve the land along the proposed route.

"The Greens are worried that Labor is putting high speed rail on the slow track.

"Instead of action, Labor is proposing another advisory group, which could push the project out past the Budget and past this term of Parliament.

"Action on high speed rail should be well underway before the Parliament rises in June, not pushed out to the next term.

"High speed rail will be a great 'stimulus package' for the south-east states and the manufacturing industry, which are doing it tough because of the mining boom and the high dollar.

"High speed rail will boost the economies of regional centres along the route.

"High speed rail could alleviate the need for a second Sydney airport.

"This is a nation-building project that will improve connectedness between our cities and towns, boost economic competitiveness and provide better transport options for millions of Australians for generations to come.

"It's the cheapest it's been in a long while for the government to borrow money and with billions sitting in superannuation funds, it's a great time to issue bonds to fund this nation-building project which will be an asset for generations to come."

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