A NEW report has signalled massive benefits to the region of a high speed rail system linking the east coast.
Commissioned by Greens Deputy Leader Adam Bandt, the report shows $48 billion in benefits from high speed rail and in particular highlights significant gains for regional NSW from greater work options, a boost to tourism income, better access to city health and welfare services and in the strengthening of businesses.
Prepared by a former partner at Deloitte, the study also shows benefits in time saved by consumers, congestion savings, accident reduction and pollution reduction.
"The economic gains from high speed rail are clear - now the government needs to provide the financial commitment," Greens Senator for NSW Lee Rhiannon said.
"The report predicts High Speed Rail will bring new families to regional towns along the route, including people who can commute more easily to jobs in Sydney.
"People are attracted to the idea of living in regional North Coast towns but finding employment can be difficult.
"What High Speed Rail has been shown to do is reduce inequalities between regions like the North Coast and cities - for example by bringing new tourist and commuter visits and boosting socio-economic well-being.
"By bringing regions and towns closer together North Coast residents will also have improved access to jobs as well as health and welfare services.
"High Speed Rail will allow North Coast residents to better connect with each other, bringing flow on benefits to sports and the arts.
"This report concludes that when these economic and social benefits are included the cost of High Speed Rail is almost cut in half," Senator Rhiannon said.