Friday 25th Sep, 2020

Cormann delays ARTC sale over Inland Rail talks

Freight rail track - stock - credit Shutterstock (8)
Photo: Shutterstock

The Federal Government has set aside the privatisation of the Australian Rail Track Corporation while it considers the impact progress on Inland Rail may have on the deal.

Minister for finance Mathias Cormann on Wednesday announced the scoping study into the sale of the ARTC would be delayed.

“The government is currently considering options to develop the inland railway between Melbourne and Brisbane in the most efficient and cost effective way possible,” the minister announced in a joint statement with deputy prime minister and minister for infrastructure Warren Truss.

“This Inland Rail route offers a strategic opportunity to invest in nationally-significant infrastructure, which would service Australia for the next 150 years.

“It offers the prospect of significant improvements in the productivity of freight services in Eastern Australia by providing a new high performance freight rail corridor.”

Cormann said work on developing a business case and potential financing and delivery options for Inland Rail is currently underway.

“As such, the scoping study into options for the future management, operations and ownership of the Australian Rail Track Corporation will need to be broadened to take this important strategic initiative into account.

“Consequently, the Department of Finance has decided not to proceed with the current tender processes for business and legal advisers for the ARTC Scoping Study.”

Cormann said the government will begin a new process later in 2015.

“The ARTC scoping study remains on track for consideration by the government in the 2016/17 Budget process.”

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