Central Coast Liberals in State Parliament have welcomed confirmation that the New South Wales Government has been successful in obtaining funding from the Commonwealth to develop a business case under the $20 million Faster Rail initiative.
The funding follows a competitive assessment process and will be used to explore opportunities that could potentially reduce the travel time between Sydney and Newcastle by up to one hour.
Parliamentary Secretary for the Central Coast, Scot MacDonald said the NSW Coalition Government appreciates the advocacy of the Member for Robertson, Lucy Wicks MP to secure these funds.
“The State Government and the Central Coast community welcome the opportunity to develop a business case to reduce travel times on the Newcastle to Sydney rail service. There are more than 1.6 million journey’s on the line each month and the potential time savings are significant,” Mr MacDonald said.
Member of the Legislative Council, The Hon Taylor Martin MLC said improving the existing rail line is a sensible solution for commuters who travel long distances each day.
“More than 34,000 people from the Central Coast and 21,000 people from the Hunter leave their region each day for employment. As someone who has done this commute day in and day out I know how important it is to have State and Commonwealth Coalition Governments working together on long term plans to improve the quality of life for people in commuter regions such as ours,” Mr Martin said.
Member for Terrigal, Adam Crouch MP said that the NSW Government has a strong record when it comes to improving public transport for customers.
“Since coming to Government in 2011, the Coalition has already rolled out Opal Card and purchased 512 new intercity train carriages that will begin to be delivered next year and service the Central Coast and Newcastle line first,” Mr Crouch said.
The business case will be co-funded by the Commonwealth and NSW Governments and is expected to be delivered within 12-18 months.