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UPDATE: QCA publishes discussion paper on Aurizon’s coal maintenance programmes

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World Coal,

The Queensland Resources Council (QRC) has welcomed the independent Queensland Competition Authority’s (QCA) discussion paper, which addresses appropriate maintenance allowances and mechanisms for ensuring that Aurizon is accountable for delivering appropriate service levels and minimising disruptions to Queensland’s coal exports.

QRC Chief Executive Ian Macfarlane said the QCA request for more information about the monopoly rail operator is a further sign of Aurizon’s inability to explain its change to maintenance services.

“The QRC will continue to fully co-operate with the QCA and make certain the industry’s views are put forward to ensure a swift return to normal maintenance services,” Macfarlane said.

“I urge Aurizon to listen to the Premier and sit down with the QCA to resolve this issue as a matter of urgency.

“It would be a sign of good faith from Aurizon if it resumed normal maintenance programme so coal could get to ports.”

Aurizon previously stated changes to its maintenance programme, in response to a draft QCA determination, could halt the movement of up to 20 million tpy of coal to export ports.

In its discussion paper, the QCA stated that its draft determination: “Did not prescribe Aurizon Network change its maintenance programme nor the operation of its maintenance practices. The QCA did not advocate giving priority to maintenance activities rather than train services.”

QRC estimates the 20 million t reduction would represent a AUS$4 billion cut to Queensland exports and a AUS$500 million cut to royalties paid to the Palaszczuk Government each year.

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