AusRAIL, Market Sectors

Beattie says QR bottleneck criticism just argy bargy

<p>The &#8220sheer incompetence&#8221 of the Queensland Government-owned QR was to blame for the state’s coal infrastructure bottlenecks, federal treasurer Peter Costello told Parliament yesterday (Wednesday, May 30).</p> <p>As coal producers predict that the delays will cost billions of dollars, state and federal politicians have entered the debate, calling for answers to why there are almost 100 bulkers waiting to load Queensland’s coal.</p> <p>Mr Costello said the delays would go to the heart of Australia’s national income and diminish Australia’s trade performance.</p> <p>&#8220This is solely and totally the responsibility of a State Labor Government,&#8221 Mr Costello said.</p> <p>&#8220We cannot export because of sheer incompetence.&#8221</p> <p>South Korean steel maker POSCO slammed the adequacy of the rail performance in the coal chain, criticising it as one of the worst in the world.</p> <p>Acting QR chief Stephen Cantwell told the ABC that the rail operator was &#8220very concerned&#8221 by such comments from customers.</p> <p>&#8220Yes indeed, we are challenged,&#8221 Mr Cantwell said.</p> <p>&#8220We’ve had some significant challenges in the early part of this year.&#8221</p> <p>Queensland premier Peter Beattie rejected the implication that QR’s reputation was in tatters. </p> <p>&#8220Well I don’t accept that — look, this is a bit of argy bargy,&#8221 Mr Beattie said.</p> <p>&#8220The truth is that everybody could have handled this better.</p> <p>&#8220I say to Posco, I say to all the coal companies, let’s just get back to work on this.</p> <p>&#8220It is important to our reputation and what you’re getting is a bit of pressure from them on us to get outcomes and that’s fine.&#8221 </p> <br />