Pacific National wins appeal case on Acacia Ridge

Full Federal Court rejects ACCC opposition on competition grounds

Pacific National wins appeal case on Acacia Ridge
Pacific National has the terminal it fought for


Pacific National’s acquisition of Aurizon’s Acacia Ridge Terminal will proceed after the Full Court of the Federal Court of Australia gave the green light by dismissing the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s (ACCC's) appeal and upheld Pacific National's cross-appeal.

The court rules that the acquisition will not contravene section 50 of the Competition and Consumer Act (CCA) even without the access undertaking voluntarily offered to the ACCC and the court by Pacific National, the rail firm notes.

The decision is likely to spur the ACCC to again call for a legislative tightening of competition rules after recently losing a case to Port of Newcastle over monopoly charging.

In welcoming the judgment, Pacific National says it is looking forward to adding the Acacia Ridge Terminal to its nationwide network of rail freight depots, terminals and hubs.

Read how the Acacia Ridge appeal case kicked off, here

The company assures that it is "working to ensure the many social, environmental and economic benefits of rail freight are realised throughout Australia’s transport supply chain, including the future Melbourne-to-Brisbane Inland Rail".

"More freight on rail helps to improve road safety, ease traffic congestion, lower vehicle emissions, and reduce wear and tear on local and state roads," it says.

"A 2017 Deloitte Access Economics report found for every tonne of freight hauled a kilometre, road freight produces 14 times greater accident costs than rail freight and 16 times as much carbon pollution.

"The coronavirus pandemic has shown the innate power of rail in being able to move bulk volumes of freight over large distances in a safe and efficient manner.

"For example, a single 1,800-metre interstate goods train service can haul up to 330 shipping containers, helping to reduce the number of truck (and people) movements across state borders."


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