QR poaches Asciano manager to run coal business

By: Jason Whittaker

A key Asciano manager has defected to rival Queensland Rail (QR) to run its coal transport business. Marcus McAuliffe has been

A key Asciano manager has defected to rival Queensland Rail (QR) to run its coal transport business.

Marcus McAuliffe has been appointed Group General Manager of QRNational Coal, the largest of QR’s four fright businesses.

After a period of realignment, QR CEO Lance Hockridge says the coal business is ready to move forward under McAuliffe.

He says growth will be driven by a $3 billion-plus capital investment program to lift the capacity and improve the performance of the central Queensland coal network through track construction upgrades, new locomotives and wagons.

"Earlier this year we announced that QR’s freight business would be transformed to best suit the needs of our customers and Marcus is a welcome addition to the senior management team at QR to take the coal business forward," Hockridge says.

"Under Marcus, QRNational Coal’s goal will be to impress customers with the service it provides and ensure QR is their best option for converting mined coal to delivered coal.

"His appointment is part of the continuing rejuvenation of our senior leadership team which is aimed at delivering a mix of long-term rail experience and private sector business acumen."

QR’s Group Executive General Manager of Freight, Stephen Cantwell, says the four businesses under QR’s Freight portfolio – coal, bulk, intermodal and retail freight – are in strong growth phases and coal continues to be at the centre of that growth.

"Our objective is to deliver real value for our customers and our shareholders. An important ingredient in achieving this in today’s market is the capability and diversity at all levels within our workforce," he says.

"This is a very exciting time for the coal business with expansion in all aspects of the sector in Queensland and NSW as the resources boom continues to drive demand."

McAuliffe replaces Michael Scanlan, who was responsible for guiding QRNational Coal through recent capacity issues and the opening up of the Queensland network to competition.

Hockridge pays tribute to Scanlan, saying he has made a valuable contribution not only to QR and the Australian rail industry but also to the international public transport industry and tourism.

Scanlan has more than 35 years of achievement in QR’s passenger and freight businesses and operations as well as delivering major projects.

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