WILLIAM Hayes was sadly unable to get to the official launch of his political party on Tuesday.
“It was a bit hard to get from Wodonga to Canberra for it ... if only there were a high-speed train,” he said yesterday.
If only indeed — convenient then, that Mr Hayes is running as the Indi candidate for the Bullet Train for Australia party, a single issue party that exists only to put high-speed rail on the federal agenda.
Mr Hayes and his Farrer counterpart Tracey Powell said it was time the project was taken seriously.
The party has unveiled its plan for the first stage of the link between Melbourne and Newcastle, which it says will cost 1 per cent of federal and state budgets over five years, and be ready to go by the end of 2018.
A Labor government feasibility study has found a network linking Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane would cost $114 billion and would not be fully operational until 2065.
Neither major party considers high-speed rail a priority.
Mr Hayes said he “wouldn’t say I don’t agree (with the study)... but we believe we can commit to it in the next five years.”
“We’re lagging behind other countries... and it should be seen as an investment rather than a cost,” he said.
Mr Hayes, 23, has lived in Sydney, Newcastle and Melbourne and been frustrated with the system.