High Speed Rail Authority Board meets in Newcastle

25 August 2023

25 AUGUST 2023

The Hon Catherine King MP
Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government

Sharon Claydon MP
Federal Member for Newcastle
Deputy Speaker

The Australian Government’s vision for an east coast high-speed rail network has taken another important step forward today, with the Board of the High Speed Rail Authority (HSRA) meeting in Newcastle for the first time. 

The Board’s meeting in Newcastle follows on from its detailed briefing with New South Wales transport officials yesterday regarding the existing rail corridor between Sydney and Newcastle.

The HSRA commenced operations on 13 June 2023 to lead, plan, develop, coordinate, oversee and monitor the construction and operation of a high-speed rail network in Australia.

High-speed rail will revolutionise interstate travel on the east coast, providing a fast alternative for people to move between cities and regional centres, promoting sustainable settlement patterns, and generating and spreading economic benefits beyond the outskirts of major capitals.

The HSRA Board is committed to working transparently within a framework of high standards of governance and accountability.

The Board is enthusiastic about the important foundational and planning activities currently underway, and is working to build the HSRA with a strong leadership team, organisational capability, positive culture and transparent processes and decision making. 

Quotes attributable to Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government Minister Catherine King:

“High-speed rail will be instrumental in improving the lives of Australians by supporting shifts in population settlement, better connecting skilled workers with major job centres and be a key enabler of achieving our ambitious carbon reduction targets.

“It is essential the HSRA takes the time now to establish a robust foundation on which to build and this means the planning has to be done properly and in detail.

“Given the size and scale of building an east coast high-speed rail network, it must be based on meticulous planning, good governance and highly effective project management.

“High-speed rail is still in its early days and we acknowledge this project will take time.

“We have a vision about how we want to see Australia develop, not just next year or next decade but decades from now.”

Quotes attributable to Federal Member for Newcastle Sharon Claydon:

“High Speed Rail is a game-changer for our region - increasing capacity, cutting carbon, delivering better connectivity and creating good local jobs and opportunities.

“The HSRA Board meeting in Newcastle is a milestone achievement that recognises the lead role our city will play in shaping high-speed rail in Australia.

“After a wasted decade under the former government, Labor is working hard every day to seize the opportunities ahead.

“Newcastle and our region stands to benefit enormously from the Albanese Labor Government’s commitment to get work on high-speed rail underway. It’s time to make high-speed rail a reality in Australia.”