- Albanese touted his high-speed rail ‘vision’ at Quad meeting in Tokyo
- The leader stated that it had been an ‘obsessive’ dream to connect the east coast
- Traveling at 350 km/h would cost $500 million from Labour’s first budget.
Anthony Albanese has revealed his dream of a high-speed railway in Australia, in a meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on Tuesday.
The new prime minister spoke to Kishida about his “vision” for fast rail at the annual Quad summit in Tokyo.
Albanese admitted he was “obsessive” about high-speed rail after the two world leaders spoke about their goal of keeping the region “free, open and peaceful.”
The trains are expected to reach speeds of up to 350 km/h between East Coast cities and should have a positive economic impact on smaller communities along the route.
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese met his Japanese counterpart Fumio Kishida (pictured) on Tuesday and discussed defence, strategic relations and energy prospects.
“I think there are great prospects for greater economic cooperation in a number of areas, including – one which my foreign minister (Penny Wong) knows is one of my obsessions – my vision for high-speed rail,” said Mr Albanese in a video, obtained by Reuters.
Albanese also discussed his aspirations to move towards green hydrogen with our regional neighbors.
“I see a huge opportunity in doing what our countries have done for LNG in other areas, including green hydrogen,” Albanese told Kishida at the meeting.
Albanese also held his first meeting as leader with US President Joe Biden before his meeting with Kishida.
Australia’s 31st prime minister flew to Tokyo to attend his first Quad summit, attended by other leaders from the United States, Japan and India on Monday.
Albanese’s comments on high-speed rail are not new – the Prime Minister has repeatedly spoken about the prospect and said last January that it would be one of Labour’s top priorities if the party were elected.
The promised Melbourne to Brisbane bullet train would stop in areas along the east coast including Sydney, Canberra and Newcastle.
Albanese at the time flagged the establishment of a High Speed Rail Authority and said the $500 million fast trains would run at speeds of up to 350 km/h.
The cash injection is expected to form part of Labour’s first budget since taking office.
“If elected Prime Minister, I want ours to be the first government to launch work on high-speed rail…creating jobs and connecting communities up and down Australia’s east coast, overcoming the tyranny of the distance,” he said.
Albanese said no country had matched the vision Japan had with its world-famous Shinkansen trains, which reach a top speed of 320 km/h.
The Shinkansen train network has existed for more than 50 years and has connected remote regions to the country’s capital, driving economic growth.
350km/h bullet trains could be the way forward for Australian east coast commuters