As reported here, the Commonwealth Government, the Morrison Liberal National Coalition Government, has created another quango to go onto the pile – the National Faster Rail Agency.
Note the title … Faster not Fast train. That tells you all you need to know. And what’s the bet that it will cost squillions, never be finished, be headquartered in Tasmania and have the faulty carriages built and designed in South Australia.
To guide Australia as it hurtles towards the transport of the future, the National Faster Rail Agency will also come into being on July 1.
The agency will serve Minister for Population, Cities and Urban Infrastructure Alan Tudge.
Its functions are listed as:
- Lead the development and implementation of the Commonwealth government’s 20-year fast rail plan;
- Oversee the development of business cases with state and territory governments, ensuring that population and transport policy objectives are met;
- Identify additional rail corridors that would benefit from faster rail services over the long term, in consultation with state and territory governments, industry and stakeholders;
- Work with relevant state and territory governments in the delivery of faster rail construction projects;
- Develop an investment strategy recommending how faster rail projects can be staged to link future expenditure to investment need, and increase community and industry confidence to reduce market pressures;
- Work in partnership with the Infrastructure and Project Financing Agency to explore alternative funding and financing options for faster rail, such as private sector contributions and value capture opportunities; and
- Provide advice on options to future proof corridors for high-speed rail, including the need for technical guidelines, corridor planning and protection.