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High speed rail for Australia - Is it value for money?

22nd May 2013 9:30am-1:30pm

Assembly Hall, Level 4, St James Campus, The University of Sydney,
173-175 Phillip Street, Sydney, NSW 2000


A high speed rail link connecting the large centres of Australia's east coast is an exciting but costly undertaking. With Sydney-Melbourne being the fifth busiest air route in the world and Sydney-Brisbane not far behind there would appear to be sufficient demand and a high speed rail link would be competitive in providing a journey time of under three hours between Sydney CBD and Melbourne CBD.

However, as Federal Transport Minister Anthony Albanese has commented recently, a high speed rail link would necessitate significant tunnelling (particularly around Sydney) and would be very costly. This view is supported by a number of high level studies. In response to the most recent study, Mr Albanese said that HSR in Australia would be an exciting but ''monumental endeavour'' and that, given the large capital cost and impacts to communities involved, a national debate is urgently required. He continued by saying "Let the debate begin." Well, this is what this forum is all about. The crucial questions addressed in this special event, as part of the ITLS Leadership and Policy Seminar Series, are where the large upfront investment for a high speed link would come from and whether the proposed HSR link is indeed value for money.


9:30am Introduction
Professor David Hensher, Director and Dr Rico Merkert, Senior Lecturer, ITLS-Sydney

9:40am The real impact of high speed rail - evidence from a European perspective
Peter Koning, Chairman of the CILTA NSW Section and Peter Humphreys, Vice President of Global Transit, AECOM

10:10am Building the backbone of the nation - the Japanese HSR experience
Gen Okajima, General Manager, Central Japan Railway Company, Sydney Office

11:00am Investment in growth
The Hon John Alexander MP, OAM, Federal MP for Bennelong

11:30am Assessing the employment agglomeration and social accessibility impacts of HSR in the Sydney-Canberra-Melbourne corridor
Professor David Hensher, Director, ITLS-Sydney

12:00pm Round table panel discussion

12:30pm Lunch

Places are limited for this special event so please book early to avoid disappointment. This is a catered event so please include any special dietary requirements with your RSVP to: