QR privatisation restricts coal chain

Asciano has claimed that the ongoing privatisation of Queensland Rail has stopped co-operation of coal chain logistics.

Comparing the Hunter Valley Coal Chain (HVCC) to that of Queensland, Asciano’s coal general manager David Irwin said that since implementation of the Hunter Valley Coal Chain Co-Ordinator there has been an elevation in the levels of coal transported.

This was contrary to the current situation in QLD, where despite upgrades to the infrastructure of the coal chain to the Dalrymple Bay port which allowed for the capacity of 85 million tonnes to be moved annually; in reality only 70 million tonnes is being delivered.

While the HVCC is made up of a number of miners as well as port and rail authorities, it has the capacity to act independently, allowing for decisions of the overall coal chain.

Despite QLD setting up a body for stakeholders of the rail system, its task is to share information rather than operate the logistics of the chain.

Irwin explained that the reason the QLD body had not been given the authority to make decisions is due to it being an integrated model, and if the authority to make decisions was conferred on it then it would compromise the integrity of the model.

While the existing agreement of the QLD coal chain is slated for expiration on 2 July, there has been no consensus from the current stakeholders on the future of the body.

Head of the QLD coal chain body, Ross Dunning, said that there is a preference for the body to emulate the HVCC, especially if the rail lines were bought by coal miners.

Queensland Rail will be privatised via a public float later this year.

However, despite a group of QLD miners have offered the Government close to $5 billion to acquire the rails that service the coal chain, the State Government is focused on selling the rail network as a whole.


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