Regional development and decentralisation are rhetorical favourites of Australian politicians but they're really promoting regional sprawl over suburban sprawl.
But how far could billions of dollars in new rail infrastructure actually go in improving congestion across our cities? Will cars inevitably win? If so, why?
No government has ever offered to be the primary investor in a significant development project anywhere in the north of our continent.
80% of our land mass is sparsely populated and poorly serviced by internet, hospitals, water, railways, roads and ports.
It already contains the seeds of failure Ė an existing, ingrained culture of family disability fraud and embezzlement that has been operating openly and arrogantly in Australia for years.
The Prime Minister's embrace of east coast High Speed Rail and his spinning of value capture removes any doubt he's just as cynical and opportunistic as Labor and the Greens.
As Iíve discussed before, what proponents of this view donít get is that while big cities provide greater diversity (and are rightly lauded for it), they also provide more opportunities for specialisation.
After several decades of increasingly sophisticated strategic town planning, community angst and confusion - along with industry annoyance - continues to test new lows.
It would consume vast amounts of public money to replace one form of public transport (airplanes) with another form of public transport (trains).
Itís a truism that development costs are much higher on the urban fringe than in inner areas. But thereís little evidence.
Infrastructure Australiaís new plan contributes to the policy debate. Good. What we need now is selection of good projects and concerted action to improve the nationís infrastructure.
Back in 2002, Melbourne's strategic plan set a target of 20% mode share for public transport by 2020, but mode share stabilised since then at just 11%.