CBH, Arc grain train deadlock con­tin­ues

Countryman - - NEWS - Cally Dupe

A two-year deadlock be­tween CBH and Arc In­fra­struc­ture over long-term ac­cess of WA’s grain train lines looks likely to spill into a third year.

CBH op­er­a­tions gen­eral man­ager David Cap­per told me­dia on Fri­day he did not ex­pect the ar­bi­tra­tor to make a de­ci­sion be­fore the mid­dle of next year.

The de­lay means the com­pany will have to re­new its in­terim ac­cess agree­ment with Arc In­fra­struc­ture, for­merly Brook­field Rail, be­fore it ex­pires on De­cem­ber 31.

An in­de­pen­dent ar­bi­tra­tor was ex­pected to call an end to the deadlock by the end of this year.

CBH trig­gered an ar­bi­tra­tion process with Arc in Fe­bru­ary 2016 af­ter for­mal ne­go­ti­a­tions to gain long-term ac­cess to Arc’s freight rail net­work failed.

The com­pany has been cart­ing grain on Arc’s coun­try rail lines un­der an in­terim agree­ment while the ar­bi­tra­tor nuts out a 10-year ac­cess deal.

Lead­ers of both par­ties last year de­clared the ar­bi­tra­tor’s de­ci­sion as fi­nal and agreed to set up a sec­ond in­terim agree­ment when the ex­ist­ing one ex­pires in De­cem­ber.

Arc In­fra­struc­ture re­leased a state­ment on Tues­day which said it con­tin­ued to work with CBH “on a reg­u­lar ba­sis to en­sure no in­ter­rup­tions to grain rail ser­vices”.

It said while Arc would be “bound by the ar­bi­trated out­come”, CBH would have the “option to ac­cept the ar­bi­tra­tor’s de­ci­sion”.

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