Please note: this is an archived news article release.
This article was published on 23 August 2012. The information contained within may be out of date or inaccurate. News articles and media releases older than 60 days are archived for future reference.
Full steam ahead for Councilís High Speed Rail push
Greater Shepparton City Council is redoubling its effort to push for Shepparton to be included on the High Speed Rail network being considered by the Federal government.
This follows a briefing by the Australasian Railway Association's CEO Bryan Nye, and Dale Budd, Member of the Reference Group for the Federal Government's current High Speed Rail Study earlier this month for Greater Shepparton City Councillors, the Council Executive and members of the business community this month.
Greater Shepparton City Council CEO Gavin Cator said that including Shepparton on any proposed routes would increase patronage and therefore the viability of the entire project.
"Shepparton is easily the biggest centre between Albury/Wodonga and Melbourne, and a station here could generate around 330,000 incoming passengers and around 250,000 outgoing passengers annually," Mr Cator said.
"Shepparton should be an obvious inclusion, but the first phase of the Federal Government's current High Speed Rail Study only shows Shepparton as a potential deviation."
The second phase of the Federal government's High Speed Rail Study, due to be completed by the end of this year, will consider specific corridors, geotechnical issues, financing options, patronage and revenue forecasts.
Greater Shepparton City Council will include updated census data in its further submission to the study, and will lobby relevant Federal and State Ministers to ensure Shepparton is part of a preferred route in the Phase Two report.
"Shepparton is convenient for travellers from surrounding towns and cities like Kyabram, Echuca, Moama, Cobram, Benalla, and Euroa," Mr Cator said.
"The 835 million additional passenger kilometres in the system comes at a cost of only 2.6 minutes of travel time, and the economic benefit to the region could be worth up to $1000 per household."
Running the line through Shepparton would connect it with the Goulburn Valley/Newell Highway (A39), which is the National Network road from Melbourne to Brisbane.
Greater Shepparton would benefit from increased housing values, Mr Cator said, and the region could benefit from the possibility of commuting from Shepparton to Melbourne to work.
While the capital cost of a High Speed Rail network would be between $61 billion and $108 billion, it would be significantly offset by potentially delaying the need for a second airport in Sydney and a fourth runway at Melbourne's Tullamarine airport, Mr Cator said.
- Released 23 August 2012