A proposal for a high-speed rail between Sydney and Melbourne has been endorsed by a bipartisan parliamentary committee and been put to the federal government for consideration.
The committee, chaired by Member for Bennelong John Alexander, has recommended the federal government seeks proposals for a high-speed rail link between the two cities under a value capture model, Fairfax reports.
It also urges the government to assess the feasibility of ‘Hyperloop’ technology for the project, which is a form of passenger and freight transportation conceived by Tesla founder Elon Musk that propels a pod-like vehicle through a near-vacuum tube at speeds faster than aeroplanes.
The Hyperloop (pictured right) could see passengers travel between Sydney and Melbourne in one hour, but the link itself is being touted by the committee report as a method to address affordable housing shortage in the two states.
The theory is that a high-speed rail link would make it feasible for people to live in the states’ regional centres while still working in the bigger cities, thus easing pressure on city housing markets.
A value capture funding model could also see rail development packaged together with housing developments that have provisions for affordable housing or subsidised home ownership. Revenue streams from commercial holdings and land value increase along the rail line could be used to recoup the cost of its construction.
The proposals will be offered to a wide net of organisations, but one has already put forward an idea for the project. Fairfax reports that Consolidated Land and Rail Australia has made a $200 billion proposal, to be funded by value capture without public money, which would see eight entirely new cities built along a high-speed rail corridor between Sydney and Melbourne by 2050.
The government has six months to respond to the report presented on Tuesday.