Leading coal miners hope to join Aurizon review against QCA

Ten coal producers want to join the judicial review application filed by Aurizon against the Queensland Competition Authority (QCA) in the Supreme Court of Queensland.

The coal companies are some of Australia’s largest coal producers, including AngloAmerican; BHP Mitsubishi Alliance and BHP Mitsui Coal; Coronado; Glencore; Idemitsu; Jellinbah Mining and Lake Vermont Resources; Peabody; and Yancoal.

This move followed QCA’s urge last May for stakeholders to collaborate, provide joint submissions and exert greater accountability on Aurizon’s maintenance and operational activities.

In a statement, QCA said it “encourages Aurizon Network and its customers to engage with each other in order to reach a pragmatic consensus on these matters.”

The judicial review application was intended to scrap a draft QCA ruling that would allow the rail operator to recover only $3.89 billion from its network business from July 2017 to June 2021, which was $999 million less than Aurizon wanted.

Due to the deficit, Aurizon would have to adjust its maintenance practices, cutting up to 20 million tonnes of Queensland exports a year, which is 10 per cent of total exports.

Aurizon commenced the judicial review application in April on the basis of conflict of interest and apprehended bias.

The rail operator stated: “This application results from the QCA chairman, Professor Roy Green also being the chairman of the Port of Newcastle in NSW, part of the Hunter Valley coal supply chain.”

It is not yet known when the coal producers’ application will be heard by the court.

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