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High-speed rail? At $200 billion we’d better get it right

Peter Newman writes in The Conversation (18.7.16) about a new proposal for a high speed rail route to run between Melbourne and Sydney, seeking to fund the project without government investment.

‘As an urban rail activist, academic and commentator, including a spell on Infrastructure Australia, I can say from the start I was delighted that we have a consortium prepared to have a go at high-speed rail using value capture.

‘Consolidated Land and Rail Australia (CLARA) is the first group in Australia to suggest that a major rail option can be funded without government capital. This fits with what we have been saying for a number of years (for example, the entrepreneur rail model).

‘It is not just a way of bringing financing groups like superannuation funds into such major infrastructure projects where governments have no hope of finding the cash, but it is also a better way: it inherently integrates with land development opportunities to make less car-dependent cities.

‘High-speed rail is needed. We are the last major developed area without it.’

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