This is nothing more than a disguised way of giving the airlines (especially QANTAS) billions of $$$ more. It is about time rail was given a better look into than the poor passenger services we have today between capitals. The government cannot keep favoring the airlines over better service like higher speed rail which if implemented would be better for the environment anyhow.
Qantas and Virgin have been handed billions so far and they are public companies yet state owned passenger rail services have stagnated under this current federal government. Money handed to Victoria for passenger rail has been poorly managed.
I add the government says it is about encouraging people to visit places and spend money and the head of QANTAS comes on to be interviewed today and states it is about keeping jobs at QANTAS.
Is it time we had a national approach to passenger rail?
Half-price flights on offer as Government asks Australians to holiday for cheap at home
Unfortunately the rail services will never come close to break even where as right now the airlines just need a break and then within a short time will eventually break even and be profitable and pay taxes.
Also intercapital rail has its place, but its more servicing regional areas where air lines are never going to be competitive. In particular intercapital rail falls well short for those wanting to travel beyond the next capital city, ie Brisbane to Melbourne.
Virgin wasn't handed Billions and when the company failed (which would have happened even with no CV), the govt refused to prop it up, rather supporting a more viable airline, QF.
Yes its about generating tourism and tourist jobs and this includes airline jobs.
Do we need a national approach for long haul passenger rail? Yes but it won't solve the problem the govt is trying to solve.