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Australian government on hunt for fresh fast rail proposals

Staff Writer | September 22, 2017
High-quality proposals are now being sought for the development of business cases to bring faster rail to Australian urban and regional areas.
Darren Chester
Australia   The Faster Rail Prospectus
Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester and Minister for Urban Infrastructure Paul Fletcher were on the New South Wales Central Coast to launch the Faster Rail Prospectus, which will start the process of bidding to build faster rail services.

The announcement follows a $20 million commitment by the Turnbull Government to investigate Faster Rail options in the 2017–18 Budget.

“For the many commuters in regional and outer urban areas, faster rail has the potential to have a significant impact on their quality of life by allowing them to spend more time at home, and less time travelling,” Mr Chester said.

“This initiative will explore improvements to the rail connections between our cities and surrounding regional areas through $20 million in funding to support the development of business cases.”

Minister Fletcher said the prospectus began the call for proposals process, with the Australian Government seeking business cases that demonstrate faster rail travel times through new or upgraded rail infrastructure, continuing its commitment to investment in high-quality rail infrastructure.

“In addition, business cases must outline initiatives that will increase housing choices by opening up regional areas, encourage job and career opportunities, and improve access to specialist services for people in regional areas, as well as major events,” Mr Fletcher said.

“Proposals are open for application to both state governments and the private sector, including consortia arrangements, with submissions for high-level Stage 1 proposals closing on October 13, 2017.

“Ultimately, the best three proposals will receive Australian Government co-funding towards business case development, with the final business cases then progressing to Infrastructure Australia for assessment.