Yass Valley residents could be rocketing up the Hume Highway to Sydney on a high-speed train if Canberra Airport’s plans go ahead.
Councillors agreed at the last meeting to support the airport’s concept for the super-fast train.
But first they wanted to see the route the train would take.
“Before we support it I’d like to know where it’s going to go,” Cr David Needham said. “The impacts need to be considered before we give support.”
Sutton residents had spoken to him concerned about increased aeroplane noise and the path the train might take.
He didn’t want to support it if it was going to go through the community.
Cr Cecil Burgess was also worried it might impact on the residents of Gundaroo.
He said a past plan for high speed rail went straight through the Gundaroo valley and that wasn’t what people in the village wanted.
“I think this is going to come straight down that valley, straight past my front door,” Cr Burgess said.
In the end Cr Michael McManus put forward a motion to support the concept subject to route selection.
Noel McCann from the airport group pitched the idea at the council meeting last week.
He outlined the history of the airport expansion and said the train pulling in at Canberra Airport would help it develop as an international airport and an overflow for Sydney.
“There’s a debate going on that a train should go to civic. It won’t work,” Mr McCann said.
He said the airport link in Canberra would ease Sydney’s congestion woes and support the region around Canberra.
The airport’s director of planning and government relations said another reason to support their bid for the rail link was a proven track record for getting things done. From 2009 to 2013 the owners will have spent $420 million transforming the ACT terminals.
In the masterplan for the new airport was space for a high-speed train station.
“We’re picking it up and running with it,” Mr McCann said.
Cr McManus said a high-speed connection to Sydney would make things easier for the residents of the Yass Valley.
“The high speed rail has to start somewhere. It will happen at some stage, I think we should be supporting it,” Cr McManus said.
Mr McCann said the plans hadn’t been finalised but there would likely be a couple of stops along the way to Sydney.
People from the region might be able to catch the train from Goulburn or Canberra and get to Sydney in just over an hour.