Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, Communications and the Arts

Faster Rail

The Australian Government is committed to supporting and shaping the sustainable growth of our cities and regions by delivering faster, more efficient and reliable transport infrastructure. Fast reliable transport connections to the regions are critical to supporting regional development and facilitating population shifts from congested capital cities to key regional centres.

There has been substantial progress in implementing the 20 Year National Faster Plan since its release in 2019.

The Australian Government is committing a further $3.72 billion to deliver Faster Rail. This brings the Government’s commitments to faster rail projects to $6 billion which will achieve tangible benefits for Australian communities by moving from the planning phase to the investment and delivery phase.

In the 2022-23 Budget the Australian Government committed:

  • $1.6 billion for the Brisbane to Sunshine Coast (Beerwah to Maroochydore rail extension)
  • $1.12 billion for the Brisbane to Gold Coast (Kuraby to Beenleigh faster rail upgrade)
  • $1.0 billion for the Sydney to Newcastle (Tuggerah to Wyong faster rail upgrade)

This builds on the Government’s existing commitments of:

  • $2.0 billion for stage 1 of faster rail between Geelong and Melbourne
  • $178.1 million for Brisbane to Gold Coast (Kuraby to Beenleigh) pre-construction works.

The Government is investigating faster rail because of its ability to improve rail services in the short to medium term, stimulate regional growth and improve access to jobs, services and affordable housing. As the first step, the Government committed $79 million to progress faster rail business cases and investigations along the following strategic corridors:

  • Sydney to Newcastle [completed]
  • a further $15 million for the next stages of planning on the Sydney to Newcastle corridor
  • Sydney to Wollongong [completed]
  • Sydney to Parkes [completed]
  • Melbourne to Greater Shepparton (CLARA) [completed]
  • Melbourne to Warrnambool, Bendigo, Ballarat, Shepparton, Albury-Wodonga and Traralgon [underway]
  • Brisbane to the Sunshine Coast [completed]
  • Brisbane to the Gold Coast [underway]
  • Perth to Bunbury [underway]