Adani acts to al­lay mo­nop­oly rail fears

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS - DOMANII CAMERON

ADANI has re­jected the idea of let­ting the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment con­struct its pro­posed rail line in the Galilee Basin de­spite con­cerns the In­dian con­glom­er­ate might mo­nop­o­lise the in­fra­struc­ture.

Adani spokesman Ron Wat­son said the pro­posed line, which would link its Carmichael mine with the Ab­bot Point port, would be open ac­cess.

“Com­pe­ti­tion brings price com­pet­i­tive­ness so we will be hav­ing an open ac­cess com­mon user line which means that if Aur­i­zon, Greater Pa­cific or who­ever wanted to do a deal with any of the oth­ers and use our line then they would be able to,” he said.

In­fra­struc­ture and Trans­port Min­is­ter Dar­ren Ch­ester said the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment had not con­sid­ered fund­ing the rail line, with the North­ern Aus­tralia In­fra­struc­ture Fa­cil­ity cur­rently de­cid­ing whether Adani should be granted a con­ces­sional loan for the project.

How­ever, One Na­tion se­na­tor Pauline Han­son last week called on the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment to fund the in­fra­struc­ture in or­der to keep the prof­its in Queens­land’s hands.

Mr Wat­son said users of the rail line would have to pay, but it was no dif­fer­ent to a toll road.

“The com­pe­ti­tion be­tween our­selves and other car­ri­ers would be the bot­tom line,” he said.

“If you go back in time the rea­son the Galilee hasn’t been de­vel­oped be­fore is be­cause of the cost of trans­porta­tion.

“We’ve al­ready worked out that our rates are 60 per cent cheaper than Aur­i­zon’s.

“It’s not some­thing we just pulled out of the air.”

Mr Ch­ester said the Gov­ern­ment had not con­sid­ered fund­ing the rail line.

“Adani has al­ways pro­posed the line as a com­mon user fa­cil­ity, which means it could be ac­cessed by other freight car­ri­ers,” he said.

“A loan from the NAIF would stip­u­late that the rail line be open ac­cess.”

Her­bert MP Cathy O’Toole said there was va­lid­ity in in­ves­ti­gat­ing the idea of a gov­ern­ment- owned line.

“I think that is a very new propo­si­tion and not one that’s had much de­bate,” she said.

“That con­ver­sa­tion would be around in­fra­struc­ture projects sep­a­rate to the NAIF.”

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