Rail charges down to decade low

<p>Rail charges for bulk haulage have fallen significantly over the last decade, according to a new report.</p> <p>The Productivity Commission’s report, <em>Trends in Australian Infrastructure Prices 1990&#4791 to 2000&#4701 </em> follows almost 20 years of economic reform by consecutive Federal Governments and looks at all government-owned infrastructure industries, including rail.</p> <p>Between 1996&#4797 and 2000&#4701, average rail freight charges for the transport of wheat from silo to port fell in real terms by 22% in New South Wales, 20% in Victoria, 17% in Queensland, 9% in Western Australia and 6% in South Australia.</p> <p>Between 1995&#4796 and 2000&#4701, charges for coal transport fell in real terms by 52% in NSW and 26% in Queensland.</p> <p>Transport along the Hunter Valley coal chain fell 61% over the last decade.</p> <p>In most cases, the reduction in rail charges was achieved without reducing profitability, the report said. </p> <br />