AusRAIL, Market Sectors

Little upbeat on Freight Australia sale impasse

<p>Pacific National and the Victorian Government can still emerge from the Freight Australia sale row with a deal that satisfies both parties.</p> <p>This the view of Paul Little, managing director of Toll Holdings, Pacific National’s co-owner, and one of the people involved in ongoing discussions with the State Government.</p> <p>The Government wants to revamp the regional track lease at present held by Freight Australia so that on-rail competition and third party access in Victoria will be strengthened under new ownership.</p> <p>"I am still confident that the Government will agree to assign the lease to us," Mr Little told <em>Lloyd’s List DCN</em> .</p> <p>Pacific National understands the Government’s views on third party access and competition, and believes an agreement could still be forged to satisfy those concerns under a Pacific National-held track lease, he said.</p> <p>"We have no problem with those principles," Mr Little said.</p> <p>"It’s just a matter of bringing it together in an acceptable format."</p> <p>Pacific National is adamant on the issue of retaining the track lease for the Freight Australia sale for two main reasons.</p> <p>It wants the $35m of income a year from passenger service access fees and it wants to have some form of control over how its own services access the network, Mr Little said.</p> <p>"Without that, Freight Australia is not worth anything like what we have offered to pay for it," Mr Little said. </p> <br />