AusRAIL, Market Sectors

ATA upset over states’ intervention in central corridor trade

<p>Northern Territory chief minister Clare Martin and South Australian premier Mike Rann met last week to discuss plans to increase freight on the Adelaide-Darwin railway.</p> <p>Both governments have agreed to create a high-level steering group to coordinate and stimulate trade growth.</p> <p>Ms Martin said: "While Freightlink is primarily concerned with domestic freight, now is the time to significantly upgrade government’s efforts in other areas of minerals traffic and international freight."</p> <p>At the meeting on January 7, the governments agreed to work closely at exploring all avenues to develop and grow the trade along the central corridor, Ms Martin said.</p> <p>Key government and consortium representatives, including Freightlink, have been selected to join the steering committee, which is expected to start its work this month.</p> <p>However, the Australian Trucking Association (ATA) believes the government is overstepping its responsibilities. </p> <p>The ATA said the market and not the government should determine whether freight is carried on the Darwin-Alice Springs railway.</p> <p>It said that it is up to governments to provide infrastructure and support an operating environment, but it is up to industry to operate businesses.</p> <p>There is a place for rail freight in the Northern Territory, the ATA said, but it is concerned that it may come at the expense of road freight or government subsidies.</p> <br />