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QR prepares for rail freight competition battleground

<p>Competition will be one of the defining issues for Queensland Rail (QR) during 2005, the organisation has predicted.</p> <p>QR must preparing for the impact of competition from Pacific National for freight services within Queensland while at the same time it attempts to challenge Pacific National for interstate freight services, chief executive Bob Scheuber said in QR’s annual report for 2003&#4704.</p> <p>Next year "will be a very interesting year for freight as we challenge the market’s appetite for a second interstate operator", Mr Scheuber said.</p> <p>"Also, a major competitor is coming to operate in Queensland in 2005 and QR will need to respond to this challenge in a professional manner."</p> <p>Mr Scheuber also drew attention to another hotly contested issue it has fought with Pacific National &#8211 the future of the Acacia Ridge rail freight terminal.</p> <p>The issue will be heard in the Federal Court in March 2005 but QR said it would "remain committed" to establishing a multi-user terminal at Acacia Ridge. </p> <p>"Our intention is to establish an independent multi-user terminal business with a structure that optimises capacity and utilisation, provides a transparent access regime, accommodates the current tenant [Pacific National&#93 as a core customer and maximises the scale of the business," Mr Scheuber said.</p> <p>"Unfortunately the current tenant, which inherited the site tenancy as part of a purchase in 2001, has decided to pursue legal action to stop this development."</p> <p>QR’s total freight haul for the 2003&#4704 year was 161.8m tonnes, an increase of 3.4% on the previous year, again largely a result of increased coal volumes.</p> <br />