Policy on Transport
Even though most of our energy will come from nuclear power, the private motor car will be the main form of transport for many centuries to come. Currently the fuel for motor cars comes from petroleum. In future, cars will run on synthetic petroleum. Nuclear power plants will extract carbon dioxide from the air, and process it into fuels such as decane, which is a component of petrol and diesel.
We do not see any future for liquid hydrogen as a fuel. Liquid hydrogen is bulky and difficult to handle. Using liquid hydrogen as a fuel makes about as much sense as using hay as a food. Why should we eat hay ourselves, when we can feed it to cows and eat beef? And why should we use hydrogen as a fuel when we can process it to make synthetic diesel? Tree-huggers advocate what they call a “Hydrogen Economy”, because if we have hydrogen as a fuel, we are one step closer to not having motor cars at all.
In the short term, before we build nuclear reactors, we will be able to make synthetic oil from coal and from sugar cane. It is possible to mix 15 percent of petrol with 85 percent of ethanol made from sugar cane. While this is possible, we envisage that ethanol will be sent to oil refineries and processed into more stable fuels, like decane which we have mentioned.
We will make diesel engines obligatory on all cars except for classic cars. One of the great advantages of diesel engines is that they can be made to run on anything. A diesel engine can be made to run on petrol, on avgas, on turpentine, on liquified petroleum gas, on ethanol, on canola oil, or even on smoke from burning leaves and branches.
If a recent shortage of diesel oil had gone on for any length of time, farmers and truckers would have started running their rigs on petrol. Diesel fuel is much safer than petrol, in that it does not normally burn if you apply a match to it. People cannot use diesel as an illegal drug by sniffing it as with petrol.
There will still be a place for public transport. If we are elected as a State or Territory Government, we will abolish fares on public transport. Local councils at present have to charge fares because State Governments don’t have income tax, and have to charge fees for everything to meet the shortfall.
Underground electric train is our preferred method of public transport for areas of high population density, and electric trams for areas of low population density. Trams will be converted to run on electrified rails. The current will be switched off except when the tram is going past, so there will be no danger to pedestrians.
We would eventually like Australia to have a Very Fast Train (“Maglev” or “magnetic levitation” train). These trains, however, are very expensive, and taxpayers cannot afford to pay for everything we might like. Once we have finished installing the National Broadband Network, the “Maglev” network will be the next major project. It is envisaged there will be four “Maglev” tracks, as follows:
- Cairns to Brisbane to Sydney to Canberra to Melbourne to Adelaide to Perth
- Adelaide to Alice Springs to Darwin
- Brisbane to Alice Springs to Perth
- Hobart to Launceston and via a tunnel to Melbourne
The energy for the “Maglev” Train will come from geothermal power stations in the north-east of South Australia and in the south-west of Queensland. The “Maglev” Train will travel almost as fast as a jet, and will greatly reduce the need for air travel and the resulting consumption of jet fuel.