AusRAIL, Market Sectors

QR scraps freight subsidies

Queensland Rail will raise freight rates on its busy eastern lines to address concerns about charging at prices below cost.

The rise will largely affect intermodal freight between Brisbane&coma Townsville and Cairns but will not have any impact on QR’s bulk coal and livestock customers.

A spokesman for QR said it is no longer considered appropriate for taxpayers to subsidise profitable freight and logistics companies.

“QR has had concerns for some time about continuing to charge for freight at below cost prices&coma”” QR said.

“”In addition&coma QR has potential trade practice issues arising from historic inconsistencies in freight rates to various customers.””

Discussions on the rise have yet to be finalised but they are expected to come into force next month.

It is thought the increase will be between 4% and 25%.

Queensland transport minister Steve Bredhauer said the freight increases will have a negligible impact on consumers in the bush because the government will continue to subsidise services to western Queensland.