A new report, commissioned by Greens Deputy Leader Adam Bandt, outlines a strong economic case for High Speed Rail removing the need to build a second airport for Sydney and shows $48 billion in benefits from a HSR network along the East Coast.
High Speed Rail: Benefits that add up, prepared by a former partner at Deloitte, shows the benefits of HSR in time saved by consumers, congestion savings, accident reduction and pollution reduction.
"This report undermines the case for a second airport in Sydney," said Australian Greens transport spokesperson and NSW Senator Lee Rhiannon.
"The report's analysis shows that High Speed Rail could decrease congestion at Sydney Airport, saving $10 billion, which is equivalent to the avoided cost of a second Sydney airport.
"High Speed Rail could have a two-fold benefit to Sydney Airport congestion - substitute for 30 percent of forecast 2036 passenger trips and transport 10 per cent of passengers to Canberra Airport from where they can fly to their final destination.
"High Speed Rail is therefore predicted as being capable of meeting up to 40 % of future Sydney Airport passenger demand.
"HSR is expected to substitute for about 24% of Australia's total domestic air kilometres, with 22.7 million passenger trips diverted from Sydney to High Speed Rail in 2036.
"This represents 63 per cent of the 36 million actual passenger trips at Sydney Airport in 2010/11 and 30 per cent of the forecast 76.8 million passenger trips at Sydney Airport in 2035.
"The Joint Study into Aviation Capacity for the Sydney Region report, released in March by the Gillard government, described the enormous increase in flights expected over the next two decades at Sydney Airport.
"It noted that if congestion is not resolved Australia GDP will be lowered by $2.5 billion pa by 2035.
"High Speed Rail is one clear solution for Sydney's airport woes. Now the Gillard government needs to make a financial commitment to ensure it happens," Senator Rhiannon said.