AusRAIL, Market Sectors

Report damns ARTC track lease plan for NSW

<p>Cost projections for the Australian Rail Track Corporation’s proposal to lease the New South Wales interstate rail network are unrealistic, according to a union commissioned report.</p> <p>The BIS Shrapnel report on the proposals said that although the short-term financial benefits to NSW are "tempting" the proposal is flawed and opens the state government up to substantial risk.</p> <p>"While ARTC’s revenue projects are reasonable, its cost projections are unachievable without leading to a serious degradation in the quality of the leased network over the longer term and most probably, an associated deterioration in performance and safety standards," the report said.</p> <p>Cost projections for track inspection, maintenance and minor works are a third below the estimated minimum, the report said.</p> <p>Rail Tram and Bus Union state secretary Nick Lewocki says the State Government should advise the Commonwealth it would not proceed with the plan.</p> <p>The Federal Government has substantial funding for track improvements on hold until NSW signs over its national track to the ARTC.</p> <br />