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Freight Australia sale discussions still productive: Paul Little

<p>Toll Holdings has hosed down speculation that negotiations with the Victorian Government on the sale of Freight Australia have stalled.</p> <p>The company’s managing director, Paul Little, told <em>Lloyd’s List DCN</em> that the government’s decision to consult industry on the state’s rail access regime did not have any direct bearing on the government’s discussions with Pacific National.</p> <p>"I think it [the consultation paper&#93 was probably in stream before we even made a bid for Freight Australia," Mr Little said.</p> <p>"It’s not a reaction to anything we have done."</p> <p>Although the consultation paper is open until August 31, Mr Little said he thought a resolution on the sale could be reached as early as the end of next week.</p> <p>"We have had some very productive meetings with the government all week," he said.</p> <p>Further meetings with the government were scheduled for this morning (Friday, July 30), he said.</p> <p>On speculation that Pacific National might water down its bid for Freight Australia by buying only 49% of Freight Australia &#8211 and bypassing the need for state approval &#8211 Mr Little said:</p> <p>"My view is that we could do that, although the Government doesn’t seem to think so, but that is not the preferred way forward." </p> <br />