Industry bid for QR coal sale


Queensland coal producers commit to work together and bid for ownership of QR’s coal rail network in central Queensland

Industry bid for QR coal sale
Industry bid for QR coal sale

March 8, 2010

Queensland coal producers have committed to work together and bid for ownership of QR’s coal rail network in central Queensland.

Following an industry meeting in Brisbane today, Queensland Resources Council Chief Executive Michael Roche says coal producers are unanimous in their view that the QR coal business privatisation model being pursued by the State Government is in the interests of neither the coal industry nor Queensland taxpayers.

"Strong rail infrastructure performance is critical to the coal industry’s ability to stay Queensland’s and Australia’s largest export industry," he says.

"Queensland coal producers are concerned about the performance of this crucial coal industry infrastructure under the structure proposed by the Queensland Government whereby a privatised QR National will both control the coal track network as well as operate a rail haulage business in competition with other haulage operators using that track.

"Of particular concern is that the Government’s existing proposal to float a vertically integrated coal business will severely limit investment in the new rail capacity needed for industry growth and new job creation.

"By contrast, coal producers – as owners of the coal track network – have a very strong incentive to ensure a high-performing network and to make timely investment in new rail capacity to avoid export bottlenecks."

Roche says the Queensland coal industry – represented at today’s meeting by Anglo Coal Australia, BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA), Ensham Resources, Felix Resources, Jellinbah Resources, Macarthur Coal, New Hope Coal Australia, Peabody Energy, QCoal, Rio Tinto Coal Australia, Vale, Wesfarmers Resources and Xstrata Coal – has committed to delivering an early proposal to the Queensland Government as a real alternative to the proposed public float of QR’s coal business.

The companies will seek early discussions with the Queensland Premier and key stakeholders on the industry approach, he adds.

"The coal industry is not asking the Queensland Government to abandon the public float process," he says.

"Rather, industry is simply asking for the opportunity to provide an alternative bid and have that industry alternative judged side by side against the public float option.

"As Queensland's largest export industry employing tens of thousands of Queenslanders and delivering $3 billion in royalties last financial year, the coal industry surely deserves the opportunity to have its alternative offer taken seriously.

"The Government’s current approach and the alternative offer from industry can then be compared to determine which is superior in the best interests of Queensland."

You can also follow our updates by joining our LinkedIn group or liking us on Facebook