A proposed high-speed rail project could have Lismore residents travelling to Brisbane to work in just 45 minutes, or to Sydney in just 2.5 hours.
Lismore City Councillor Simon Clough got the support from his fellow councillors this week to back the report, which he says would cost $30 billion less than the costing from the previous federal (Labor) government.
The high-speed rail project is collaboration between the German Aerospace Centre, the Beyond Zero Emissions group and the University of Melbourne’s energy research institute.
The proposed high-speed rail network could be powered by 100% renewable energy, according to the report.
In his motion to the council, Cr Clough said it was ‘estimated that greenhouse gas emissions from regional travel would be reduced by 150 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent over 40 years of operation compared with business-as-usual’.
‘Emissions created from the HSR construction would be offset after five years,’ he said. ‘$84 billion is the total estimated construction cost including rolling stock, project management and contingency,,, what this all needs is some leadership and vision’.
He pointed to the current federal government’s claim to be focused on infrastructure as a good reason to believe the high-speed rail could become a reality.
He said the old rail network was 19th century technology.
‘This is late 20th century technology and that’s got enormous advantages which could see dramatic changes to cities like Lismore,’ he said.
‘People are already living in Lismore and working in Brisbane but with this proposal their commute would be just 45 minutes,’ he said.
The report was based on what an actual builder and operator of high speed trains had experienced. It identifies routes, station locations, fares and even a train timetable.
‘The authors believe that the whole network, Melbourne to Brisbane can be delivered in 10 years and would cost $30 billion less than the costing from the previous Commonwealth government,’ Cr Clough said in his motion.
According to the report, a station would be built on the south side of the showgrounds, and Lismore would be the third stop going south, after Brisbane and the Gold Coast.
Cr Clough succeeded in getting council approval to write to federal infrastructure and regional development minister Warren Truss and federal minister for trade and investment Andrew Robb to recommend acceptance and implementation of the Zero Carbon Australia High Speed Rail Report.