Pacific National hails Acacia Ridge pickup from Aurizon

Rival rail firm sees it as strategic piece in national jigsaw as union raises sale concerns

Pacific National hails Acacia Ridge pickup from Aurizon
Dalla Valle welcomes the purchases


Pacific National has signalled its freight operations in and out of Queensland will be assured if its purchase of the Acacia Ridge Intermodal Terminal (ARIT) is given the green light.

A binding agreement with Aurizon to purchase the terminal south of Brisbane still needs Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) and Foreign Investment and Review Board (FIRB) approval and is part of last week’s Aurizon divestment announcement.

This transaction will include the transfer of 30 Aurizon employees, as well as assets, commercial and operational arrangements.

"The Acacia Ridge Terminal supports Pacific National’s goal of providing consistent and reliable freight rail services to our customers," recently arrived Pacific National CEO Dean Dalla Valle says.

According to Dalla Valle, ARIT will supplement Pacific National’s national terminals network of and provides security for its interstate operations "for the long term".

Separately Pacific National has signed a binding agreement to buy the Aurizon Queensland Intermodal business as part of a consortium with Linfox.

"Queensland Intermodal supports PN’s strategic objective to grow in important markets and allows for PN to offer new northbound services and southbound services within Queensland on day one," Dalla Valle says.

While Pacific National emphasises the positive, the Rail, Tram and Bus Union (RTBU), whose members have borne the brunt of Aurizon’s recent restructuring, is on edge.

Specifically, it has sought urgent discussions with Aurizon on the jobs of about 50 workers in its NSW Intermodal business that the union says are at risk.

"We are seeking urgent discussions with the company to discuss what impact this will have on workers," RTBU NSW secretary Alex Claassens said after the announcement.

"We will be doing everything we can to minimise the impact this has on the hard-working employees at Aurizon Intermodal.

"We’re hopeful we can work with the company to ensure workers aren’t negatively impacted.

"This has come as a huge shock to the workforce.

"Just last week we were told the company was going to restart negotiations for a new enterprise agreement. Now we’re hearing they’re selling off the company entirely."  

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