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CRASHED: Greens leading Labor by the nose to policy disaster

policytrainwreck A key Greens party policy spruiked by them before the election to construct a high-speed rail link between Brisbane and Melbourne would cost up to $187 billion (1700 kms by $110 million per km) and provide marathon six hour journeys between the two centres.

Documents obtained by Seven News under a Freedom of Information Act application prior to the federal election show the responsible Minister Anthony Albanese had commissioned a departmental study that cast serious doubt over the viabiility of the proposal.

Despite this the government – in an attempt to play echo politics with the extremist Greens party – pledged $20 million of taxpayers’ money to a feasibility study even though our population density and the vast distances between these cities mean high-speed rail does not create a viable alternative to air travel.

The other enthusiastic boosters of this policy have been the LaRouchite lunar right in the Citizens Electoral Council which is convinced Queen Elizabeth II runs a heroin operation. An intriguing prospect, perhaps only slightly less likely than the prospect of a high-speed rail link being built between Melbourne and Brisbane.

Before the election Bob Brown complained that he couldn’t get his party’s policies costed by Treasury. For once, we agree with him. Greens party policies should be costed and those costings made publicly available before elections in the way that is meant to occur with the major parties.

Then we’ll see the whites of their lies. And the true cost of their nutty policies.

Just one of their policies would cost $187 billion and give us a service few would choose to use because it will take three times the time of existing air services.

With Bob Brown playing an increasing role in the government, now as a co-deputy-chair of the committee examining a carbon or electricity tax, these are the kind of barking-mad ill-considered and uncosted policies that are being forced on a Labor government.

The Greens bubble is set to burst as the world grows weary of the expensive fad but the question for the Prime Minister is what political price will she pay when it does.

If she’s seen to jack up household electricity bills and undermine jobs with a tax on electricity and run up generation-shafting debt on crazy schemes like high-speed rail links the nation doesn’t need and won’t use.

The ideological obsessions of the Greens party that deem state-ownership good, private enterprise bad, expensive wind/solar energy good, inexpensive coal bad and zero-carbon nuclear evil, trains good, planes bad and cars wicked and so on are ultimately indulgences the country can no longer afford.

A Labor government dependent on people like this – that takes its riding instructions from gimmick-merchants like Bob Brown – will soon perish from the Earth and deserve everything it gets.


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  1. Those wacky Greens…! What will they think of next..?

    Posted by First | September 28, 2010, 12:00
  2. Wendy must have exploded trying to think up a way to cover the Green arse on this one.

    Posted by Charlie | September 28, 2010, 12:08
  3. How many times do I need to say leave the Green and Pink well alone and spend you energies up the ‘Brown’ like I do.

    Posted by Pissy Chryne | September 28, 2010, 12:42
  4. The person who wrote that policy for them must have been smoking something.

    Posted by hippy love | September 28, 2010, 13:31
  5. Manager of opposition business Christopher Pyne, in congratulating Mr Jenkins, confessed the two had something of a “love-hate relationship” during the past three years.

    “I need you to love me as the manager of opposition business but I haven’t always felt that love,” Mr Pyne said, prompting laughter in the chamber.

    He looked forward to the new parliament being able to change that relationship, “so that there’s a lot more love flowing between us”.

    Posted by Pissy Chryne | September 28, 2010, 13:45
  6. Its a new stimulus package!

    Posted by Wendy W | September 28, 2010, 15:03
  7. Brunswick based son tells me the bulk of early 20s Greens supporters in the inner burbs are neo-hippy refugees from the leafy south-east enclaves via alma maters like Grammar, Wesley and Firbank. He calls them Fitzroyals. He says they get pissed right off when he tells them Greens’ proposed death duties will rob them of Daddy’s estate. Bet the doctors’ wives have the same reaction. The electoral beneficiaries of such shallow muppets can survive on the political landscape for only so long. I mean, deep down, it must be embarrassing to be a Green.

    Posted by G-town man | September 28, 2010, 16:11
  8. Do any likely lads want to stimulate my package?

    Posted by Pissy Chryne | September 28, 2010, 17:54
  9. If Australia is top build a high speed rail link down the East coast then the best option/technology would be the MagLev. In fact they should not stop there. They should carry on to Cairns and maybe on to Singapore via Darwin

    Maybe J W Howard should have built a high seed line from Adelaide to Darwin.

    It will most likely put an end to Quantas.

    Posted by Maglev | September 28, 2010, 17:55
  10. The distance between Brisbane and Melbourne is 1370.21 kms for a start. Secondly the $110 million per kilometre was referencing the Channel Tunnel, it will not be anywhere near as expensive per kilometre as the Channel Tunnel. The majority of properties that will be resumed aren’t going to be all along the coast substantially reducing property resumption prices. Factoring Spain’s high speed rail, a more realistic factoring depiction of average property prices is $16 million per kilometre. I arrive at $21.9 billion

    Posted by Skeptical | September 28, 2010, 18:01
  11. The track would not go in a straight line from Melbourne to Brisbane… of course it would be built via Sydney and Newcastle, probably with an offshoot to Canberra. Anything else would be mental.

    1700km of track then becomes a conservative estimate, while the google-mapping as the crow flies 1370.21 is just plain rediculous.

    Posted by mick | September 28, 2010, 19:10
  12. I want a train line from my house to Parliament so that I can get to work when I lose my license for drink driving for a third time.

    Posted by Colin B from Bundoora | September 28, 2010, 20:07
  13. could the editor of this site please
    do something about the schoolboys
    posting on this site, not only are they annoying, the main thing is they are not amusing. i find them quite sad, please direct them to the nearest public lavatory where like mice they can scratch the walls with their inane drivel.

    Posted by Aunty Mabel. | September 28, 2010, 20:24
  14. Aunty Mabel do you have a teenage daughter or grand daughter as I would like to offer her a good ‘ride’ home?

    Posted by RDR | September 28, 2010, 21:23
  15. Pissy – time for a group hug.

    Posted by Jokeshott | September 29, 2010, 0:50
  16. Jokeshott do you want to bend over my desk if you do I’ll make sure Mr Rabbit is nice to you.

    Posted by Pissy Chryne | September 29, 2010, 1:03
  17. Greens is good way for private school type to reject parents politics without actually voting for same party as their help.

    Posted by Upperclass protest | September 29, 2010, 8:03
  18. Greens have created very good youth brand. The small soviet cells who run the party are old white men in 50s. But they are smart enough to not make the brand in their own image. The one brand breach they have made is the old codger they are running in Melbourne.

    Posted by Youth brand | September 29, 2010, 8:13
  19. While I do not hold a candle for the Greens – far from it – this story is ill-informed and thinly researched.

    The point of high speed trains is not to necessarily have hundreds of thousands of travellers a week or a month travelling Melbourne to Brisbane or vice versa, but to facilitate shorter journeys such as Sydney to Melbourne. Sydney to the Gold Coast, Canberra to Coffs Harbour or Melbourne to Canberra.

    Of course, factoring in air delays and the need to travel to the airport, some leisure travellers may well use a high speed train, if one was built, from the Gold Coast or BrisVegas to Melbourne but it won’t be the trains’ main martket.

    High speed trains have got rid of air travel or dramatically reduced it on many routes where the trains can get from the centre of one city to another in 3.5 hours or less.

    The Greens are often downright dangerous (look at their wish for death duties) and unsuitable to have in charge of the purse-strings but high speed rail is supported by many in the Liberal and National parties because of the population base in our cities.

    Sydney with 4.4 or 4.5 million, Melbourne with 4 million, Canberra with more than 315,000, Newcastle about half a million, Brisbane/ Gold Coast/ Sunshine Coast a few million more….the numbers are there.

    Air travel can’t offer the direct service that properly built high speed trains can. Nor can it offer the worldwide reliability of high speed trains.

    Isn’t this is better bet than Labor’s silly waste of $43 billion with its NBN that few people appear to have asked for?

    Posted by Poor analysis | September 29, 2010, 16:23
  20. could the ownder fo this website please understand how to use photoshop. It’s beyond the pale that in this day and age you can’t even ork out how not to stretch a photo.

    Posted by Carli | September 29, 2010, 17:03
  21. We welcome wit, we laugh at levity,
    we revel in repartee but your comment “RDR” has nothing to offer
    you are an immature Buffoon.keep posting because the more you post the more of a simpleton you show your self to be.your stamping ground is the public lavatory not this site.

    Posted by Aunty Mabel | September 29, 2010, 20:24
  22. Aunty Mabel let me guess it’s been years since a fine young gent like myself has offered you a ‘ride’? And as for public lavatories you’ll need to speak to Pissy and Alan about the ‘activities’ held there.

    Posted by RDR | September 30, 2010, 0:48
  23. China old boy, you’re right. I say stick with petroleum and planes. America doesn’t bother with AMTRAK and Europe wouldn’t be seen dead having high speed Eurorail. You are right, let’s just drive and fly, it’s cheaper and I do so love a Virgin Airline computer system.

    Posted by Wendy | September 30, 2010, 17:14
  24. Doing nothing on climate change and not scrapping the abcc were the real policy train wreck.

    Posted by Failed policies | October 2, 2010, 18:48
  25. You cannot expect same infrastructure as Europe and Asia as long as you have low population density. You will need a 20 million population corridor for a fast train.

    The cost of low population is plain but all three parties are now ‘small Australia’ parties do get used to falling further behind asia and Europe.

    Posted by Fast train out of our reach | October 2, 2010, 18:54