Roche wants QLD coal part of rail privatisation

QRC chief executive Michael Roche has warned the State Government against leaving the coal industry out of its plans to privatise Queensland Rail's coal rail business.

Queensland Resource Council (QRC) chief executive Michael Roche has warned the State Government against leaving the coal industry out of its plans to privatise Queensland Rail’s (QR) coal rail business.

According to Roche, the Government’s current proposal of a share float of QR’s coal business will risking long-term industry growth and the future royalties to taxpayers.

He argues that the Government should stay with its original plan to sell trains and related infrastructure separately, which Roche believes will get the best result for Queensland taxpayers.

“We are yet to learn what possessed the Government to reverse this clear cut commitment to get the best outcome for taxpayers and the competitiveness of Queensland’s largest export industry by selling the coal trains and coal track businesses separately,” Roche said.

“By the Treasurer opting to put all his eggs in the basket of bundling the trains and track in one publicly floated business, industry has been locked out from making a bid for the coal track business.”

Roche believes the coal industry should be able to become involved in the sale.

“Surely it makes sense for the State Government to test if a unified coal industry grouping could deliver superior value to the owners of these assets, the citizens of Queensland,” he said.

“Not only might industry deliver a superior sale price, but with industry buy-in, the Government encourages an ownership model aligned to industry needs around performance, investment, cost and reliability.”

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