Submission to High Speed Rail Phase One  

Posted on 14 Oct 2011

Please note: this is an old article

It was published in October 2011, so the information may be out-of-date.

Greater Shepparton City Council’s submission to the Department of Infrastructure on Phase One of the High Speed Rail Study supports the inclusion of Shepparton. The report suggested the corridor to be short-listed for the proposed Melbourne-Brisbane HSR rail route is Corridor 14a, which includes Albury-Wodonga and Wagga Wagga and possible deviations to Shepparton.

Council Economic Development Manager Geraldine Christou said Council believed the best route for the proposed HSR through Victoria and southern NSW to Canberra must include Shepparton.

"Shepparton is convenient for travellers from a network of surrounding towns and cities like Kyabram, Echuca, Moama, Cobram, Benalla, and Euroa, not to mention dozens of smaller centres," she said.

"Shepparton is approximately the same distance from Melbourne as Newcastle is from Sydney, raising the possibility of commuting from Shepparton to Melbourne. In addition, Shepparton is by far the largest centre between Melbourne and Albury/Wodonga."

She said a station in Shepparton had many advantages.

"The people of regional Victoria could be seriously short-changed unless a regional HSR station is located roughly midway between Albury and Melbourne, and so situated as to maximise traffic to and from the Goulburn Valley/North East Victoria region," she said.

She said including Shepparton would only require and extra 15 km of track and would add less than three minutes to the trip time.

"A station in Shepparton could generate a third of a million incoming passengers and a quarter of a million outgoing passengers annually," she said.

"The variation of 15km is in easy terrain, so the impact on construction cost will be modest."

Ms Christou said her team was excited about future possibilities.

"The HSR make regional living more attractive and facilities such as good hospitals and tertiary education facilities are strong reasons to plan for further growth and opportunities for all," she said.

"The synergy between our regional growth policies and selecting Shepparton as the place for Victoria's regional HSR station is obvious."

Council is continuing to liaise with relevant stakeholders regarding the High Speed Rail Study and is looking forward to receiving a visit from Minister for Roads and Public Transport Terry Mulder later this month for discussions regarding passenger, freight and high speed rail.