Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s ambitious $4 billion plan to improve the efficiency of a train to Geelong from Melbourne is a recipe for disaster. The new line is part of a $19 billion high-speed rail plan to improve the efficiency of regional trains in Australia announced ahead of the 2018-19 budget. The nation-wide project is aimed to reduce commute times, congestion and provide greater accessibility for people living outside large cities like Melbourne.
While the Prime Minister’s goals are no doubt admirable, taxpayers should be concerned as such projects have a poor track record, are highly susceptible to cost blowouts, and indefinite timelines. Consider how since the 1980s, every Federal Government has conducted a feasibility study of constructing high-speed rail, but no high-speed rails have ever been constructed.