O’Farrell fast train is absurd, says Hockey

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How O’Farrell will provide corridors for fast trains through an overburdened metrop network- needs to be investigated.

O’Farrell fast train is absurd, says Hockey


PREMIER Barry O’Farrell’s opposition to a second Sydney airport was “absurd”, a senior Liberal said yesterday, opening a rift between the state government and federal opposition.

Mr O’Farrell has dismissed the need for a second airport, a centrepiece of The People’s Plan, in favour of a high-speed Sydney to Canberra rail link.

But shadow federal treasurer Joe Hockey said not only did Sydney need a second airport it also had to be close to the city.

“No one’s going to fly Sydney or Melbourne and land in Canberra and catch a train,” Mr Hockey said.

“I’m hoping the Premier will change his mind when he becomes fully aware of all the issues.

“Whether it’s Wilton or whether it’s Badgerys Creek, we need to have an airport closer to Sydney and suggestions of an airport further out are absurd.”

Mr O’Farrell wants a Canberra Airport expansion and a $10-25 billion high speed rail line. An airport at Wilton is estimated to cost $2.5-3 billion.

The Daily Telegraph People’s Plan infrastructure expert Gary Sturgess said building a second airport should be a major priority for the state government, either at Wilton or Badgerys Creek.

Federal Transport Minister Anthony Albanese again called on Mr O’Farrell to change his mind yesterday. “The NSW government, along with the Australian government, commissioned a report,” Mr Albanese said.

“Seven people sat on the committee, including the heads of NSW Transport and NSW Planning. They provided that report and it indicates what cost to the Sydney and NSW economy, but the national economy as well, if we don’t have a second Sydney airport.

“I find it extraordinary that the Premier of NSW, who speaks about making NSW number one, can just dismiss a report that shows there are dire economic consequences for Sydney if we don’t get this necessary piece of infrastructure.

“The Premier can’t just pretend that this is an issue that’s too hard to deal with, and I’d call upon him to be constructive, examine his own report and what the consequences are for Sydney and NSW.”

It is the second time Mr Hockey, who at one time was touted as being a NSW premier, has disagreed with Mr O’Farrell.

Mr Hockey said in December that he believed Mr O’Farrell should have sold the $10-15 billion poles and wires.


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