Chief Minister Kate Carnell has announced the ACT, NSW and Commonwealth Governments have received Speedrail Limited's detailed submission for the operation of a high-speed rail service between Canberra and Sydney.

In August 1998, the three Government's announced Speedrail was the preferred proponent to finance, build and operate the fast train service. Prior to making final decisions, the government's required Speedrail to complete a 'proving up' stage, in which the company provides greater detail on issues such as project viability,
infrastructure requirements, technical operations and project funding.

Mrs Carnell said the very high-speed train project provides governments with an opportunity to work with the private sector to provide internationally competitive rail infrastructure, and at the same time deliver tangible benefits to regional Australia.

"The construction of a high speed rail service through southern New South Wales will provide many jobs and services to the region. It has
long been a priority for the regional leaders in Southern NSW."

"The project presents a number of significant opportunities for regional Australia. There are expected to be around 15,000 jobs created
directly and indirectly, during the construction phase of the project and 2,000 once the service is operating. Almost as important is the introduction of high quality passenger rail services to regional NSW and the ACT and the opportunity for broad economic benefit."

The lodgement of this detailed proposal brings the proving up stage to a close. The ACT, NSW and Commonwealth Governments will now evaluate this detailed submission with a view to making decisions during the first half of 2000. It is anticipated it would then be possible for
construction to commence in 2001 and be completed by 2005.


Media contact: Geoff Harris (02) 6205 0013 - office (0417) 425 579 - mobile

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