Henty is best known for its annual field days and agricultural innovation in the early 20th century.
While it bustles for its September agriculture extravaganza, and a new four-wheel-drive show in the wings, like many rural towns it struggles to retain youth and attract young families.
Its 1100 strong population, including many home-grown businesses, could be some of the biggest beneficiaries of the new high-speed rail plan.
It has slated a new regional inland city between Albury and Wagga – the Henty area fits the bill as it almost splits the centres.
While the initial timeframe for construction is sketchy, and contingent on many factors, Consolidated Land and Rail Australia believes its ambitious project would deliver a one-hour, 50 minute Melbourne to Sydney express service.
Peter Whitlock, whose family has operated Henty-based J Whitlock Rural Supplies for more than 100 years, said he thought the project would have major positives for the town.
“I’d say there’d be 95 per cent of people in this area right behind something like this,” he said.
“Anyone out here, the businesses included, would be right behind it as it’d be a positive.
“It would really kick the area along because most of the young ones here need to leave to get work.”
While any potential realisation would be years away, Mr Whitlock said it threw up some interesting scenarios.
“We could almost become a satellite site, with those big speeds of you could be in downtown Sydney or Melbourne and live in the Henty area,” he said.
Greater Hume Shire mayor Heather Wilton said it would be a “game changer”.
“We can’t just stand still and wait for Melbourne and Sydney to burst at the seams which they’re almost at the point of doing now,” she said.
“We’ve got to have some new ideas, people thinking outside the square how we can make this thing happen.
“To me, this proposal is one of the best I’ve seen or heard in a long time.”
To me, this proposal is one of the best I’ve seen or heard in a long time.- Greater Hume Shire mayor Heather Wilton
Cr Wilton said the council was open to discussions with CLARA.
“I think we’ve got to look at it with open eyes, discuss it with the proponents and look at all the impacts on the residents of our shire, especially landholders,” she told The Border Mail.