A high-speed rail network stretching along Australia's east coast would whisk passengers at up to 350km/h between Brisbane to Melbourne on an Aussie bullet-train.
Travel times from Sydney-Melbourne and Sydney-Brisbane would be around three hours, with tickets costing $100-$200; you could traverse the entire 'golden boomerang' of Brisbane to Melbourne in just over six hours.
''Imagine boarding a train in the centre of Sydney - no racing to the airport, no delays, no lost luggage, no taking your shoes off - and then being whisked at 350 kilometres per hour, arriving three hours later in the heart of either Brisbane or Melbourne,'' said the federal Transport Minister, Anthony Albanese, in unveiling the Federal Government's high-speed rail study (which can be downloaded here).
"High speed rail could be a game changer. There are of course critics of high speed rail - but its success elsewhere in the world says otherwise."
The price tag to build the network is estimated at $61 billion to $100 billion, based on land acquisition along the coastal corridor.
The Government study flags major stops at Brisbane, the Gold Coast, Newcastle, Sydney, the NSW Southern Highlands, Canberra, Tullamarine Airport and the Melbourne CBD.
'Indicative regional stations' would be located on the Far North Coast, Northern Rivers, Mid-North Coast, Central Coast, Illawarra, Riverina, Murray and Goulburn Valley.
But with a construction timetable stretching to 2036, the project may be approached by building key parts of the route first and then joining these up later on.
Melbourne Greens MP Adam Bandt is calling for the Sydney-Melbourne route, which is already the world's fourth busiest air corridor, to be the first stage constructed.
What would the Aussie bullet train look like?
Earlier this year, the Melbourne branch of Australian design firm Hassell revealed concept plans for a superfast 400km/h train suitable for such a high-speed rail network.
Hassell dubbed its creation the Australian High Speed Vehicle or A-HSV, in a nod to Australia's iconic Holden Monaro HSV high-performance car.
The double-decker carriages adopt a modern and spacious open-plan design for passengers, along with private berths for business meetings or those who just want to work without interruption.
That said, it reminds us of the spacious lounge areas, bars and even in-flight gyms originally planned for the Boeing 747 and Airbus A380 before the commercial reality of fitting a maximum number of bums on seats took hold.
Does Australia need a high-speed rail network? Can we afford to build it, or can we afford not to built it? And would you choose high-speed rail over flying for trips between Melbourne, Canberra, Sydney and Brisbane?
Share your thoughts with your fellow Australian business travellers in the comments box below.
About David Flynn
David Flynn is the editor of Australian Business Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.