Sims, have been pondering on your reply to Ethan and both your posts.
I can understand the aspect of not likin the use of the word Regionals, but that raises the question of how does one give some form of recognition to the larger areas outside each of the state capitals and moreso in NSW with the Sydney being the largest capital city in Oz?
Thing for me is that in many ways using the term seems to be a criticism of those areas/inland cities and the like especially when talking about PT services and in this case Rail to those areas. The term regions is a bit less an issue that calling some areas that identify with their ecology, eg Northern Tablelands & where does it cut in and out especially the towns and City of Armidale. Similarly, we have the Blue Mountains used as a generic title, same with the Illawarra, and Hunter areas, the Riverina is deemed a region, but many other areas are just part of the topography NW slopes and & Plains, Central tablelands and the list goes on. As such a town/city outside what is called the Great Dividing Range needs to have something of a title that makes the large locations as places of value.
Who started the cheap import era in this country? A fellow who in recent years has been very vocal about overseas imports and loss of local jobs as well as industries, the very same fellow who was very much responsible for the flood of cheap Japanese electrical trick and other stuff, he had a bright spot on a Midday TV show where he showcased those items, he built a large company selling a lot of rubbish but developed with electrical goods, the stores were named after this fellow, DICK SMITH. His stores no longer exist.
Australia has lost its way as far as being a lucky country, & while Ethan mentions the aspect that Aussies are to blame for the cheap imports and buying the, but that's been going on even before Dick Smith. This country produced the vast majority of our own needs, both household items, cars built here and the railways purchased rail from the PTK steel Works along with other places where we manufactured items here, the vast amount of farm machinery was also built here, petrol was refined in each state, now only Caltex has a single refinery in Brisbane, none in NSW and think the same in Vic & SA. As Oz companies got bought out by overseas companies we basically have nothing great in the area of manufacturing, City or rural based, NSW rail track comes from Spain, and who in NSW builds Rolling Stock or builds locomotives, add that to other states, at least the one steel works that still makes steel in Whyalla is supplying the rails for the ILR.
We have to not just blame ourselves for this but also the corporate greed that has brought our country down from a producer & inventor of many common items that were Oz owned but now owned by overseas conglomerates, while most still have the brands available to buy, there is nothing more than some office tower where their business headquarters are and the boss & head office in the country that now owns these companies, with the heads getting the big coin and bonuses.
We will never get back to those days where we were a producing country and one that had local manufacturing, but we need to start pulling together to at least build/make the same items here at prices more than competitive with the stuff from o/seas.
Tourism is an industry that could benefit from faster rail services especially to many of the major locations, and regional areas, if the times were better than are had now. I don't especially believe anymore in regards to the HST concept but more the mid range faster trains but that means better grade and alignment separation/improvements. Trains that can run at 200Km/h on track that is fixed is not just for the rural areas, and certainly not for the commuter, but no reasons why if such systems were available and the passengers pay to commute or for holiday packages, no reason why rail could not be more of a competitive force.
I think you might have misread my comment, I don't exactly blame Aussie's for buying cheap imported goods (I shop at Kmart myself), many have no choice due to limited income, job insecurity, and high cost of living, and in other situations, there is no Australian option for certain products, like cars and electronics for example.
I blame corporate greed just like simstrain, and I blame the government, as they do a lot of the importing and that is out of the control of the everyday Australian, things like rails from Spain as you mentioned, and trains from China and Korea.
Regarding the use of the word 'regional', I understand what you mean about how it is used to identify certain areas such as the Northern Tablelands, but I dislike it because (at least in my opinion), it brings up imagery of open farmland and small country towns, and people speak as though there are two parts of NSW; Sydney being a city, and the rest regional,
not seeming to realise that you can travel just 80km's south of Sydney, and find a place a 200K population, home to a stadium, educational facilities, a significant industrial area, a significant retail centre, and an amusement park, does this bring up imagery of open farmland and country towns?
you can also travel 160km's north of Sydney, and find a place with a 400K population, home to an even larger stadium, larger educational facilities, another significant industrial area, multiple significant retail centres with international retailers, and an international airport, does this bring up imagery of open farmland and country towns?
Unfortunately the government seems to have the same mindset, meaning we see infrastructure development and employment generate in Sydney and nowhere else, and while it makes sense that the bulk of infrastructure and amenities investments are concentrated in Sydney, they should not ONLY be in Sydney because no one can afford to live there.
Youth unemployment is soaring in Australia, particular outside of Sydney, and families, especially single parents and single income familes simply can not afford to live in Sydney, especially in a suburb with proper access to public transport (park and ride does not count),
but if they live outside of Sydney in extreme car dependence, they can't afford to buy their children a car and pay the exorbitant insurance premiums either, and no employer in these areas will hire someone who doesn't own a car, and paying all the car-related expenses on the $240/week JobSeeker payment is certainly not an option, so as a result, we see youth unemployment soaring, especially in the only places familes can afford to live, meaning Australia not looking good for future generations,
and lastly, and most relevantly, commuting is not an option because, as I mentioned before, most job applications today are filtered through software packages, just a simple negative answer such as an address outside an hour's commute time could see an application rejected, and high-speed rail WON'T change this.
Regarding what you said about faster rail benefiting things like tourism, I absolutely agree, but as long as the price is right, I think a 7 hour rail journey could be competitive with an hour long flight if the price was right, ideally half that of flying and remaining consistent (as opposed to the dynamic price fluctuations in the airline industry).
Especially with the airline industry facing an uncertain future thanks to Covid-19, if Qantas was the only airline in Australia (which is thankfully looking less likely than when I first said this), that would be the end of domestic air travel for the average Australian.