CLARA High Speed Rail Proposal

By: bgr_admin on 21 March, 2017

HIGH speed rail is something that Australians have learnt not to get too excited about. The possibility of getting from Sydney to Melbourne in less than two hours without the fuss of getting to and from airports and waiting for infrequent flights in uncomfortably crowded airport lounges has been routinely floated, debated, and taken off the table by governments and thought leaders for about half a century. But the company behind the latest, and one of the more advanced proposals for a fast train system along Australia’s east coast, says there’s no reason why construction can’t start by 2021

Speaking at a forum hosted by the Australian Property Council in Sydney on Friday, chairman of Consolidated Land and Rail Australia — the company proposing the $50-$70 billion high speed rail system connecting Sydney, Melbourne, and eight brand new cities in-between — Nick Cleary, acknowledged the doubts surrounding fast trains in Australia.“For 50 years it’s been debated, and certainly it’s the feeling of most people that it’s a great idea that will never happen,” he told the gathering of property industry heavyweights.“But we want it to happen, and it’s something that we feel Australia wants to happen.” Mr Clearly and his backers, including former premiers and federal ministers believe — although it’s been heard before — that now is the time for high speed rail. THE STATUS QUO IS NOT AN OPTION The CLARA (Consolidated Land and Rail Australia) project, which was formally announced in July, proposes the development of six new “advanced, sustainable, smart cities” each built to accommodate around 400,000 people and provide jobs, services, and vibrant, connected communities to that population.

Each of those regional centres would be funded by value capture — the profits made from the transformation of existing farmland into new developments that would be expected to benefit from the new infrastructure and increase in value.
That funding model would pay for the development of the new cities, and the high speed rail network that connects them to the nation’s two largest capitals, in full, within 50 years, Mr Cleary said.