AusRAIL, Market Sectors

QR canned Acacia Ridge negotiations over privatisation issue, court told

<p>Queensland Rail canned negotiations over a long-term lease for Acacia Ridge freight terminal when it heard of plans to privatise the former National Rail Corporation, Brisbane Federal Court heard.</p> <p>Former QR chief executive Vince O’Rourke told the court that a three-year lease of the terminal to National Rail between 1993 and 1996 was transitional, and would lead to a long-term lease of between 20 and 30 years, Brisbane’s Courier Mail reported.</p> <p>But QR terminated discussions on a long-term lease when it heard of privatisation plans for National Rail, which was eventually bought by Pacific National.</p> <p>The sale was a significant issue and a change of circumstances important enough to stop the talks, he said.</p> <p>Mr O’Rourke conceded that denying terminal control to a competitor was a key factor in ending negotiations, the paper reported.</p> <p>QR told the court that Pacific National had remained in occupation of Acacia Ridge for seven years on a month-by-month basis and refused to negotiate a solution. </p> <p>Pacific National is suing QR for what it alleges was misleading and deceptive conduct over the lease negotiations.</p> <br />