AusRAIL, Market Sectors

Profile: Bert Easthope steps down as MD of GWA

<span class="" id="parent-fieldname-description"> After six and a half years at the helm of rail freight operator Genesee &amp Wyoming Australia, Bert Easthope has stepped down as managing director, to be succeeded by Greg Pauline. </span> <p>Easthope has been managing director of the multinational’s Australian arm since it began operations in 2006.</p><p>He told Rail Express that he is stepping down to take a strategic development role so he can move back to his family in Perth. He has been in Adelaide, away from his permanent family home, for over eight years.</p><p>In his new role he will represent GWA in industry groups and with the government, and will also investigate further business for the multinational down under.</p><p>He says he sees a lot of “great, exciting promise” in the future of Australia’s rail industry, and he thinks GWA has a good opportunity for growth given those opportunities.</p><p>“Given the size of the business we want to look at other opportunities,” he said. “Not just in the Northern Territory and South Australia, but elsewhere as well.”</p><p>Easthope’s railway career will soon enter its 40th year. He got his start out of school in the Western Australia Government Railways in July 1973, where he worked at stations and offices in Merredin, Geraldton, Kalgoorlie and Esperance, before moving to Perth to work in the corporate offices of the organisation, then known as Westrail, in 1984.</p><p>He later became Westrail’s regional manager for the Goldfields region, before becoming national safety manager in 2001, a position he held until 2004, when he moved to South Australia to manage the corporation’s eastern region.</p><p>Westrail was bought in 2000 by a 50/50 joint venture between Wesfarmers and Genesee &amp Wyoming called the Australian Railroad Group (ARG).</p><p>In 2006 the ARG joint venture was dissolved. ARG’s Western Australian operations were sold to Queensland Rail and Babcock &amp Brown, while Wesfarmers sold its 50% share in South Australian operations to Genesee &amp Wyoming.</p><p>At that time, Genesee &amp Wyoming took full control of the former Westrail South Australian operations, and formed Genesee &amp Wyoming Australia. Easthope took the position of managing director.</p><p>And now he has stepped down to move back to Perth.</p><p>He has wished his replacement, Greg Pauline, the best in ensuring GWA’s continued growth.</p><p>Pauline has previously worked in senior positions in three Australian corporations. He spent 11 years at Transfield, seven at Downer EDI, and a combined seven years at Lend Lease Group, where he worked most recently as executive director of development and corporate affairs for its infrastructure services business.</p>