We can always tell what stage the election cycle is at when a desperate government trots out the latest promises for high speed rail.
Gladys assures us that the latest version that includes an extension to Port Macquarie, isn't a 'stunt'. Stephen Bromhead immediately took to social media to support his superiors.
All to no avail because we voters have been lied to about high speed rail at state and federal levels so often it demonstrates the level of contempt politicians have for voters in NSW.
A true high speed rail service on the North Coast requires the complete rebuilding of tracks for it to attain speeds of 300kph in order to provide the services promised.
At present rates, that costs around $40 million per kilometre given international experiences through mountainous terrain as we have on the coast. The 400 or so kilometres from Port to Sydney would spin out to $2 billion before rolling stock is factored in.
A straight, flat high speed track would inevitably bypass towns such as Taree, Wingham and Gloucester by following the motorway to Newcastle in its quest to maintain such speeds.
However, a "moderate speed" track delivering speeds of up to 180kph could be built for around $2 million per kilometre and would compare with the Regional Rail project now so successful in Victoria and would follow existing rail paths with reasonable rebuilding.
If you politicians truly want our votes, promise and deliver a project such as this in the next 10 years and we may start to believe some of what you say. In the meantime, continue to treat us like idiots and you'll see the results in March for yourselves.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.