High-speed rail network to help solve affordability crisis, says leading agency group

High-speed rail network to help solve affordability crisis, says leading agency group

By Tim Neary

One leading real estate group has welcomed the recent release of Infrastructure Australia’s Corridor Protection report, which addresses a raft of projects including the topical issue of preserving land for the high-speed rail corridor between Brisbane and Melbourne.

Raine & Horne said the east coast high-speed rail network between Brisbane and Melbourne will not only underpin long-term property prices in regional centres in NSW, Victoria and South-East Queensland, but also help relieve some of Sydney’s affordability pressures.

Executive chairman Angus Raine said that despite it being a long-discussed issue, the idea of an HSR network still holds merit. 

“I acknowledge a fast train between Brisbane and Melbourne has been discussed for two decades, but it has the ability to help solve the affordability issue in Sydney and underpin regional real estate values in Queensland, NSW, ACT and Victoria by as much as five to ten per cent once it becomes reality,” Mr Raine said.

The Property Council of Australia also lauded the new report, saying Infrastructure Australia is asking the right questions about the country’s road and rail needs.

Chief of policy and housing at the council Glenn Byres called the report "compelling" and said it demonstrates how long-term planning can provide substantial savings.

“Our corridors anticipate the long-term transport and infrastructure needs of the nation and ensures that we can meet them by planning now,” Mr Byres said.

But he also said that while high-speed rail is the project most people focus on, the broader principles and other projects are just as critical.

“For the next twenty-five years, Australia will be building the equivalent of one city the size of Canberra every single year and we must plan and prepare for that coming growth now.

“We have seen ample evidence over the past half century that governments who protect corridors save taxpayers huge sums of money. This report is a vital and compelling reminder that corridor protection is the best way to protect taxpayers from escalating prices and land values."

Mr Byres also said it is worth noting that Sydney’s second airport (which is finally underway) is only a viable infrastructure project today because of land decisions made by governments a generation ago.

“The projects identified in the report will be crucial to building the cities of future generations," Mr Byres said. "They will be vital in helping connect markets, seed new precincts and open up more areas for the housing of the future."

He added that the report has been welcomed by both sides of politics, and now the task is to begin the steady investment in corridors to ensure that the future needs of the nation are met.

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High-speed rail network to help solve affordability crisis, says leading agency group
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