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Frequent readers of this blog will know that I have been vigourously opposed to giving the Greens even an iota of credibility because of their utter incompetence at policy. One simple example that I have used to highlight their idiocy is their High Speed Rail policy. My argument, in short, was that high speed rail was unsuited to Australian conditions because of the vast distances between cities and the low population densities in between them. I said that high speed rail was possible between Sydney, Newcastle, Wollongong and Canberra but that this was a completely different proposition and business plan to a Melbourne-Sydney rail link because those would be daily commuters rather than air travellers.

Well apparently, the Government had already commissioned a study into the feasibility of a high speed rail and found it severely wanting. And for some reason, it agrees with me.

I think the most important finding is this:

A high-speed rail network would require a minimum of six million travellers a year to be viable, but the briefing said 12 million to 20 million commuters were more typical.

To even be viable, you would need at least 6 million travellers a year. That’s like saying that the entire population of Sydney has to use this high speed rail at least once a year, every year on average. That is obviously ridiculous. Alternatively, there have to be at least 16,000 daily commuters between Sydney, Newcastle, Wollongong and Canberra. That sounds more feasible, but the Government Report highlights the highly dispersed nature of these cities. They do not have the density to sustain that sort of centralised rail network.

This is a damning indictment of the Greens. It is just so intuitively obvious that this plan could not have worked that for them to make it a crucial plank of their policy platform loses them all credibility. It might be argued that the Greens are here to fix our social policy, to put forward euthanasia bills; same sex marriage bills; environmental bills etc etc.

But you don’t realise how complex it is to draft those sorts of bills. With euthanasia bills you have to have all sorts of safeguards put in place to ensure that ‘assisted suicide’ is not actually assisted murder of someone who did not consent to that euthanasia. Let us remember that a key reason the Northern Territory’s euthanasia bill failed was because, despite its careful formulation, there were still all sorts of holes in that Bill. The Greens, who are ideologically driven to get euthanasia are not the types who would draft a bill with the same caution.

Likewise, same sex marriage bills are complex in the way that they interact with State marriage laws which do not recognise gay marriage – that is a significant problem in the US. A party as incapable of simple logic as the Greens would be equally incapable of drafting competent legislation on this front.

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  1. […] high speed rail in Australia, especially as proposed by the Greens (originally here, followed up on here). Before the election, the Federal Labor Government had conducted a feasibility study and found the […]

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