The Australian Government is committed to supporting and shaping the growth of our cities and regions by delivering faster, more efficient and reliable infrastructure. In the lead up to the 2019-20 Budget, the Government established the National Faster Rail Agency and announced the 20-Year Faster Rail Plan.
The National Faster Rail Agency is providing national leadership by coordinating faster rail policy and research with state and territory governments, industry and the private sector to better align population growth with long term rail investment. The 20-Year Faster Rail Plan establishes the framework for delivering faster, more efficient and reliable journey times along strategic corridors that link our major capital cities and growing regional centres.
The NFRA reports to the Minister for Communications, Urban Infrastructure, Cities and the Arts, the Hon Paul Fletcher MP.
Faster Rail Plan
The Australian Government is leading the way on fast rail to better connect major capital cities with surrounding regional centres through the Faster Rail Plan (PDF).
The Faster Rail plan is centred on delivering faster, more efficient and reliable journey times along strategic corridors that link our major capital cities and growing regional centres.
In supporting economic growth and social opportunity through faster rail connections between major capital cities and growing regional centres – we will:
- the development and implementation of the Australian Government’s 20-year plan for a Faster Rail Network
- the investment strategy - recommending faster rail project stages to link future expenditure to investment need, and increase community and industry confidence to reduce market pressures
- the development of business cases with state and territory governments, ensuring that population and transport policy objectives are met
- additional rail corridors that would benefit from faster rail services over the long term, in consultation with state and territory governments, industry and stakeholders
- with relevant state and territory governments in the delivery of faster rail construction projects
- alternative funding and financing options for faster rail, such as private sector contributions and value capture opportunities
- options to future-proof corridors for high-speed rail, including the need for technical guidelines, corridor planning and protection
The National Faster Rail Agency will be supported by an Expert Panel. The Panel will provide advice to the Minister for Population, Cities and Urban Infrastructure and the National Faster Rail Agency on faster rail, transport demographics and economics to inform project identification and delivery, service requirements and operating standards.
Our team guides NFRA’s work by setting the organisation’s strategic direction to deliver the Government’s 20-Year Faster Rail Plan and fast rail connections between major capital cities and their regional centres.
We do this by providing expert advice and support to the Australian Government on fast rail. Collectively, the team has significant expertise and experience in urban and regional infrastructure, rail program and policy development, financial and governance oversight and transport planning.
Our leadership team:
- Chief Executive Officer – Barry Broe
- General Manager – Greg Whalen
- Director – Policy and Planning – Fiona Carrick
- Acting Director – Business Case and Projects – Michaeli Buchanan
- Director – Corporate, Finance and People – Eleisha Hickey
Chief Executive Officer – Barry Broe
Mr Barry Broe was appointed as the new Chief Executive Officer of NFRA on 6 January 2020.
Mr Broe has spent over 40 years in major projects, transport and public sector infrastructure delivery including over 17 years at executive and CEO level. His career includes direct national and international experience in rail, public transport and planning.
Prior to NFRA, Mr Broe held senior executive roles in the Queensland State Government. In 2012, Mr Broe was appointed as Queensland Coordinator-General responsible for the development, assessment and approval of major infrastructure projects.
Mr Broe has held senior executive roles with Brisbane Infrastructure at Brisbane City Council, Queensland Transport and Transport for London including leading the development of the London transport plan that supported the UK capital's successful bid for the 2012 Olympic Games.
Mr Broe holds a B.E. Civil (First)(Hons) from University College Dublin, Ireland and a Master of Engineering and Technology Management from The University of Queensland.
General Manager – Greg Whalen
Mr Greg Whalen commenced in the role of General Manager NFRA on 20 September 2021. Prior to NFRA, he was the Assistant Secretary, Program & Shareholder Management for the development of the Western Sydney Airport program by the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications (DITRDC). Mr Whalen has over 30 years experience in the development of major building and infrastructure projects for the Australian Government. He has held a number of senior executive roles in DITRDC and the Department of Finance, and prior to that was an officer in the Royal Australian Air Force. Mr Whalen has a B.E. (Hons) from the University of New South Wales, a Master of Science from Cranfield University (UK) and a Master of Management from the University of Canberra.