Transport Minister Steven Miles says the Government is “looking at the feasibility of a major rail link” between Sydney and Brisbane, as part of its push to modernise the rail network and cut the cost of travel for some.

The project will cost between $1.3 billion and $1 billion, with the bulk of the cost to come from the state government.

“It’s going to be a massive undertaking.

The Government is looking at the possibility of building a new, high-speed railway in the Western Australian desert, which will connect Sydney to Brisbane,” Mr Miles told the ABC’s AM program on Thursday.

“That’s going be a huge undertaking for the State Government, and the State Opposition is supporting that.”

Mr Miles said the State had a long-term plan to modernising the rail system.

“We’re looking at developing a high-capacity railway system which will be the largest in the world,” he said.

“There are lots of other high-density rail projects underway in other countries, so we’ve got to be careful not to build a project that’s too big for the people of Australia.”

He said the Government was in talks with the NSW Government and Transport Minister Andrew Constance.

“What we’re doing is looking into the feasibility and viability of a new high-Speed railway that will connect Brisbane and Sydney in the middle of the desert,” he told AM.

“This is not an urban rail link, it’s a rail link that is going to connect two cities.”

Mr Constance said he expected the project to be completed in the “next year or so”.

“It will certainly be the longest high-velocity railway project in the nation and it’s certainly going to create jobs,” he added.

“I’ve spoken to the Queensland Government and they’re really supportive of this.

We’ve got a great relationship and I’ve spoken with them about the plan and I can guarantee you it will be a success.”

Federal Government to introduce tougher penalties for offences involving marine transport The Federal Government is to introduce new penalties for marine transport offences, including an increase in the penalty to $10,000 for each offence.

It is also proposing to increase the maximum penalty for breaches of the Marine Transport Act to $100,000 per offence.

“The Government has been very clear in its commitment to reduce marine transport costs by a substantial amount in the first term,” Minister for Transport Andrew Constances said.