The National Party has managed to convince Malcolm Turnbull to fund the $10 billion inland railway between Melbourne and Brisbane in return for approving the Badgerys Creek airport, Sydney’s second airport.
However political party founder, Jamie McIntyre who ran against Barnaby Joyce- the Deputy Prime Minister in the 2013 Federal Election says that spending $10 billion on a railway between Melbourne and Brisbane is a waste of money.
He said, “it makes more common sense to simply upgrade the existing inland railway that runs from Melbourne to Brisbane via New England through towns such as Glen Innes ,Tenterfield, Warwick and onto Brisbane.
“This railway has been neglected from Armidale NSW, yet the track could simply be re-opened from there to Brisbane, which is only a five-hour drive away. This could possibly be done for as little as $1 billion, thus saving $9 billion”.
McIntyre said, “what Australia desperately needs is a fast train network between Melbourne and Brisbane. This could be funded without one cent of taxpayers’ money by the private sector. Major sections could be built within 5 to 10 years by outsourcing to countries such as China.
“The simple solution to the housing affordability problem is a fast train network. It costs $3 billion in infrastructure for every 50,000 houses in a city such as Melbourne. However, in regional Australia it would cost approximately $1 billion. This is a massive savings on the cost of providing houses by having a fast train network. Cities such as Shepparton, Albury, Wagga Wagga, Canberra, Goulburn, Newcastle, Central Coast, Taree, Port Macquarie, Coffs Harbour, Grafton, Casino and Ballina would boom as regional centers because of a fast train network, as people could live in much cheaper housing in regional Australia and still commute quickly to the major cities for work.
“A fast train would enable people to commute from Brisbane to the Gold Coast within 22 minutes. Therefore, it would radically change travel times and the economy of the Gold Coast. The time it would take to catch a fast train from Brisbane to Sydney or Melbourne to Sydney will be approximately the same time it would take to fly once you have allowed time for checking in and collecting baggage when flying. National building projects such as this would increase productivity and help solve the housing affordability issues. Moreover, it would be a massive boost to regional Australia. It would also solve many of the traffic issues from Brisbane to Gold Coast, Newcastle to Sydney that will require billions to be spent in order to keep up with the traffic demands. A fast train network built by the private sector could solve this problem without costing the taxpayer a single cent”.
McIntyre has been advocating a fast train network for many years now. He wrote about it his book 101 Ways To Improve Australia along with his 25 point Blueprint to transform Australia, which was released for the 2013 federal election. He says it’s good that the government wants to invest in infrastructure and borrow money while it is cheap, which is exactly what he has been suggesting for some time. He said it’s also good that they are now using his terminology of good debt and bad debt that he raised in his previous policy initiatives.
“Investing into infrastructure that increases productivity and efficiencies of the nation should be classified as good debt and recurring expenditure and spending above our means should be classified as bad debt. Finally, the Coalition has taken this onboard and is making better financial arguments”
However, he also said that a fast train would save the billions needed for a second Sydney Airport, as Canberra’s International Airport would suffice as only 50 mins to Sydney via a Fast Train.
Plus, it’s worth mentioning the captured value add of land prices along the fast train network route.