Thursday, July 14, 2016

Australia a step closer to its first high speed rail network

An Australian-first high speed rail network connecting major cities Melbourne, Canberra and Sydney is a step closer to becoming a reality on Thursday, as private company Consolidated Land and Rail Australia (CLARA) Pty Ltd. prepares to submit an ambitious proposal to the government.

CLARA believes a high speed network, which would reportedly connect Melbourne with Sydney in less than three hours, would cost 150 billion US dollars, but has said the government - and the taxpayer - won't need to pay a cent.

The proposal, to be tabled on Thursday, has suggested the 'construction' of six new "advanced, sustainable, smart cities" along the train's future corridor in Victoria and New South Wales (NSW), with the windfall from home and land sales to fund the project through "value capture".

CLARA has reportedly already begun signing land deals near population centers in regional Australia so the cities can be constructed.

According to CLARA's website, the company "has the land" for the new cities, and there should not be any need to "call on taxpayer funding".

"CLARA's pre-feasibility business model has the city sites and rail infrastructure being privately funded through the use of land value capture," the website says.

"Unlike other proposals for high speed rail in the past, CLARA's infrastructure can be paid for from the city development rather than from government coffers."...

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