Short-term thinking is a problem. Developing a vision for 50-100 years and creating a new acceptable environment are crucial to adoption of HSR and benefitting from population increase.
In its briefest form, the vision can come out of or take account of 3 basic, embryo scenarios on Australia’s future population:
1) A doubling or more of the 24m population and new regional cities connected to the major cities on the east coast by HSR.
2) Double the population of Sydney and Melbourne to +8m with extreme densification by Australian standards and HSR deferred indefinitely.
3) Little population growth at all and strict minimisation of immigration and maybe HSR connecting interstate destinations.
Of course, no.1 should be favoured. The Government favours no. 2. The people feel uneasy about loss of their liveability under no.2 and lean towards no. 3 and its consequent low economic growth, without full knowledge of the advantages and vision of no.1. The Government and the people are in unrecognised conflict over 2 and 3. No.1 would be a good compromise to develop.
As a starting point, a vision may be to “Build and share Australia’s world leading prosperity and liveability”.