Southern Cross High-Speed Rail Terminus

The Victorian Government is requested to lower the road surface of Wurundjeri Way by 10 metres in the section adjacent to Southern Cross Station to facilitate construction of the High Speed Rail (HSR) terminus next to and connected to the Southern Cross Station and Collins Street above Wurundjeri Way, as a small part of its West Gate Tunnel Project.

The HSR terminus location would enable through HSR train connection of the three main airports in Victoria: Avalon, Tullamarine and Sale (when converted to military/commercial use like Canberra and Newcastle Airports).

The terminus would serve commuters to the CBD from two new cities of up to 1 million people each that would be built on the HSR line: one to the east in Gippsland and one to the west beyond Geelong (on the route later to Adelaide). They would save Melbourne from over-densification of its leafy suburbs and destruction of its world leading liveability.

The most efficient, value creating and optimum customer service HSR route is to the east of Melbourne via Gippsland to Canberra and on to Sydney and Brisbane along the coast where most people live and there is a plentiful water supply. One million people would readily live in a new city in Gippsland where housing would be cheaper than in Melbourne, commuting to the CBD would be under an hour (less than from Melbourne’s fringe suburbs) and would cost less than commuting from fringe suburbs to the same jobs in the CBD. The same would apply to the new city to the west of Melbourne. This would relieve Melbourne of 2 million population increase. It would be most unlikely to occur, if the HSR route were 300km inland to the north through Albury/Wodonga, leaving the three airports unconnected.

HSR should be built in the next 10 years to accommodate as much of the population increase as possible in new cities well before it approaches double: the 7.9 million projected for Melbourne over 35 years in the “PLAN Melbourne” document. The 2013 HSR Report planned for the HSR to be completed in 35 years. Governments appear to be adhering to this timetable and accepting that the populations of Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane will double. The 2013 Report was for an interstate project. Now it is primarily a project for population distribution into the regions between the major cities to save their loss of liveability, as well as for interstate connection.

The HSR project would be built by a private consortium, financed privately, not by government.

The main problem is that the Government’s SkyRail project to serve an extra couple of hundred thousand in the eastern fringe suburbs blocks the way for HSR from Dandenong to Melbourne. It destroys vast adjacent property value on viaducts without compensation to owners, where HSR would increase property value, would serve the same fringe suburbs and would serve 1 million more, plus the 400,000 already living in Gippsland, and would connect to Sale and the other airports.

Melbourne does not have to double its population to 8 million and lose its precious liveability.

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