QLD rail freight could become part of a national network
QUEENSLAND'S rail freight network could soon come under the control of the national network, with the Abbott Government starting a due diligence study for the Australian Rail Track Corporation to take it over.
Deputy Prime Minister and Infrastructure Minister Warren Truss joined Queensland transport Minister Scott Emerson to announce the six month study in Canberra on Tuesday.
Mr Truss said the study would look at the potential for the ARTC to take over the Queensland rail network, in a bid to increase investment and potential for Queensland to carry more national freight.
While the corporation has been responsible for all eastern state rail networks since 1997, only a small section of the Queensland network has been under the control of the ARTC.
Mr Truss said the study would look at the potential for increasing both mining and agricultural freight capacity on the network, and may also investigate the potential for private investment.
But he said the study would not specifically be looking at delivering "community service obligations", and would rather be focussed on returning a profit from the Queensland operations.
Mr Emerson said the study would also feed in to the state's Moving Freight strategy, in a bid to meet expected demands of up to 80% above current capacity over the next decade.