Why am I running in the North Sydney By-Election?

First of all I’d like to thank all of the members involved in the nomination process; your support is what drives the party in everything we do. It is because of you I am able to write this at all. Even if there are better odds of me getting hit by a meteor than winning the By-Election, I still think it’s extremely important to run.

By running we are asking the voters of North Sydney to think outside their electorate and vote for something that will benefit all of Australia, especially the 11 million people that will have direct access to an East Coast High Speed Rail network.

It doesn’t take much imagination to see the benefits of a Northern and Southern NSW High Speed Rail line. A Northern Bullet Train line would link Sydney with the Central Coast, Newcastle, Port Macquarie, Coffs Harbour and on to Brisbane. Going south a Bullet Train line would link Sydney with Southern Highlands, Canberra, Wagga Wagga, Albury, Shepparton and on to Melbourne.

If you love congestion, congestion and congestion, Sydney is and will be the place to be in the future. High-speed rail will take pressure off Sydney’s congested roads. Are we going to build mega cities or should we develop regional Australia? If Sydney keeps going down the mega city route then expect housing affordability to be unachievable for the majority of the population. Around the world, High Speed Rail gives people the ability to commute from further out and provide a much-needed boost to regional centres while still working in large cities.

Australia is in desperate need of a new industry. High Speed Rail could be the industry that delivers thousands of jobs and skills to both our urban and regional centres.

I know Sydneysiders love to travel; the Sydney to Melbourne and Sydney to Brisbane airline routes are both in the top ten busiest air routes in the world! How many car trips do you take every year to places that could easily be reached by high-speed train in around half the time? Imagine pain-free and hassle-free interstate travel – Sydney to Newcastle in 40 minutes, Sydney to the Northern beaches in 1.5 hours, 1 hour to Canberra or even all the way from Sydney CBD to Melbourne CBD in under 2.7 hours.

High-speed rail would reduce the number of planes, and in turn reduce our CO2 emissions. High-speed rail is 8 times more efficient than flying so it’s a no brainer in terms of reducing our CO2 transport emissions.

“This won’t happen in my life time!”

We hear that a lot. What is a realistic HSR time frame for a Bullet Train linking Sydney, Central Coast, Newcastle, Southern Highlands, and Canberra? By 2020 the planning/tendering would be complete, construction underway, and fully operational by 2025; a short ten years. This is based on comparative projects from around the world.

Highlighting the benefits of High-Speed Rail isn’t our only agenda for this By-Election; we want Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to come clean on his love for public transport and national infrastructure. Will Malcolm continue to prove he is actually an infrastructure Prime Minister by actions rather than lip service by making High Speed Rail a reality?

High-speed rail will benefit every single North Sydney voter and every single Australian now and into the future. We can’t afford to ignore it any longer.

Thanks for taking the time to read this. Please don’t stop here, instead please ‘share’ with friends, family and anyone that will listen. Spread the word, put up posters, anything you can to encourage the public to take up the fight for a better Australia.

Tim Böhm
Bullet train for Australia
2015 North Sydney Candidate