It is telling that Minister for Transport and Infrastructure Anthony Albanese chose Melbourne as the place to launch yesterday the umpteenth study into a high-speed rail corridor between Sydney and Newcastle. It avoids the risk of a Sydney media lynching.

No one in Melbourne gives a damn about Sydney-Newcastle high-speed rail other than that  it may swallow federal funds that could have been better spent entirely within Victoria. But it is also evidence that one of the most astute political figures in federal Labor was no match for the juvenile follies of the ALP’s campaign directors.