The Premier of Victoria Parliament House Melbourne, Vic 3000
The Federal Government has asked for expression of the level of interest in High Speed Rail (HSR) and definition of the corridor it should follow from the States of Victoria, ACT, NSW and Queensland. May I make two points about this?
When the words “High Speed Rail” are mentioned the usual reaction is that it is too expensive and is unprofitable. This is not correct. Value capture plays an important part in financing HSR and brings down its net cost. HSR, built together with Fast Freight Rail (FFR), the joint HSR/FFR Project, is very profitable. FFR adds profit to the project and HSR reduces its capital cost through value capture. The HSR/FFR Project has major benefits for each State and little direct cost. Every jurisdiction should support HSR/FFR for the future prosperity and liveability of its State and for Australia.
The second point is that the corridor proposed in the Federal Government’s 2013 HSR study is not in the best interest of any State or its people. The eastern route through Gippsland is best for Victoria. This would link up to the southern route via Canberra airport which is in the best interest of the ACT. This route would be more coastal and best for NSW. It would attract more people to live in regions outside Sydney than the Federal inland route with its spur to Canberra. The Federal inland route to Brisbane with a spur to the Gold Coast would not attract as many people to live outside Brisbane as the best southern coastal route to Queensland. Each State should adopt these changes to the proposed corridor to gain more value added for its people.
Copies of my recent letters to the Prime Minister, my submission to Infrastructure Australia and my submission to the Parliamentary Committee on Infrastructure, Transport and Cities Inquiry into Transport Connectivity are attached. They expand on these issues.
Would you kindly respond or revise your response to the Federal Government to take into account these issues prior to the Federal Budget?
Peter J Knight B. Com (Hons) (Melb), MBA (Melb) Chairman, The VFT 2 Project
Recently Founder, Chairman and CEO, The CEO Circle Pty Ltd
Former BHP Member of the Advisory Board, the original VFT Consortium Former Manager Corporate Planning, BHP H.O.
Former Economist, RBA
Please note: The same letter was sent to relevant Premiers.