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QCA and Aurizon must resolve Japanese coal export impasse

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World Coal,

The Queensland Resources Council (QRC) supports Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk in her efforts to resolve the Japanese coal export impasse created by monopoly rail operator Aurizon.

QRC Chief Executive Ian Macfarlane said the Premier’s call for Aurizon and the independent regulator – the Queensland Competition Authority (QCA) – to resolve the threat from Aurizon to halt the movement of up to 20 million t of coal to export ports was “absolutely correct.”

On 29 May, the Premier said, as she departed to lead a trade mission to Japan, that: “I think it’s very important that Aurizon and the QCA sit down and try to resolve this issue as a matter of urgency.”

The QRC welcomes the Premier’s visit to Japan and her plan to reassure steelmakers in Tokyo about ongoing supply of coal.

Queensland coal exports to Japan have increased to AUS$7.8 billion – the equivalent of one in every AUS$9 of the State’s total exports – under the Palaszczuk Government.

When the Bligh Government privatised QR and established Aurizon, all stakeholders were aware that the management of the Central Queensland Coal Network would be subject to independently and transparently determined undertakings enforceable by the QCA.

The QRC and its member companies have worked with the QCA through its review process.

In stark contrast, Aurizon have sought to delay, and most recently with an application for judicial review to the Supreme Court, tried to upend the QCA process.

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