Freight Rail

Miners appeal Aurizon’s Wiggins Island charges

Aurizon coal train. Photo: Aurizon

A group of coal miners will challenge the Queensland Supreme Court’s ruling that rail operator Aurizon could charge them extra fees for the use of upgraded rail infrastructure at the Wiggins Island Coal Terminal.

The court on June 27 approved Aurizon’s extra charges at Wiggins Island, with Justice David Jackson admonishing the mining customers for breaching “an implied term of the contracts to act in good faith and deal fairly,” and for engaging in a “superficially bizarre game of musical chairs” in an effort to avoid the fees.

Now the miners – Caledon, Colton, Glencore, Tarrabee, Washpool and Wesfarmers Curragh – have appealed that decision.

Aurizon, which spent almost $1 billion on rail infrastructure at the terminal on the Central Queensland coast, said on July 26 it was considering its options.

“Aurizon is considering the appeal and will respond in accordance with the Court of Appeal mandated timeframes,” the rail operator told the ASX.

“No provision has been made, or revenue accrued, for the abovementioned fees since the completion of the Wiggins Island Rail Project in 2015 and this appeal, whether successful or not, will not impact Aurizon Network’s regulated return for the project.”