ARTC in virus-spurred rail freight financial relief

Measures in place to assist operators affected by Covid-19 pandemic

ARTC in virus-spurred rail freight financial relief
Michael McCormack


The Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) is providing immediate financial relief to rail freight operators in response to Covid-19 impacts.

The measures include extending payment terms for existing access charges and deferring the CPI increase scheduled to take effect in July for three months.

In a government statement the incentives are described as offering relief to rail operators for "maintaining the supply of essential goods throughout the Covid-19 pandemic" and to help manage cash flow and the economic impacts of the virus on businesses across Australia.

They were backed by Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack.

"Our efficient freight network is critical to ensuring our supermarket shelves are stocked and our valuable export commodities can reach overseas markets – both of which have been vital during this pandemic," McCormack says.

"Rail freight companies have worked tirelessly to service the initial growth in consumer demand during the pandemic to keep Australia open for business by supplying the essential goods that have supported our nation through this global health crisis.

"As the Covid-19 curve flattened, we also saw a levelling in consumer demand and reduced production that is now being felt across supply chains.

"These measures will provide welcome relief for Australia’s freight rail operators and will support businesses across the country as they take steps to recover in a very different economy."

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Finance minister Mathias Cormann also lauds freight rail operators for "mak[ing] a significant contribution to Australia’s economy" and welcomes ARTC’s decision.

"Each year, Australia’s freight and supply chain networks deliver billions of tonnes of goods across the country," Cormann says.

"ARTC plays a significant role in making this possible through its management of national rail infrastructure.

"We welcome its response to the Covid-19 crisis, which has ensured freight rail operators are able to continue providing an important service Australians and the Australian economy rely on.

"The Government is very pleased to see ARTC working with its customers, government and industry to build resilience in our freight and supply chain network during what is a difficult period."


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