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Monday, 23 May 2005
Page: 223


Mr Martin Ferguson asked the Minister for Transport and Regional Services, in writing, on 10 March 2005:

(1)   With respect to the construction of the Darwin to Alice Springs Railway, what was the (a) full cost of construction and (b) current contribution by each investor including the Australian, South Australian and Northern Territory Governments?

(2)   In considering the initial decision to invest in the railway and subsequent additional contributions, (a) what projections were made in the business case for the carriage of (i) passengers, (ii) domestic freight, and (iii) international freight and (b) what has been achieved by the railway to date for the carriage of (i) passengers, (ii) domestic freight, and (iii) international freight since the opening of the railway?

(3)   Have any consultations occurred between the operator of the railway and the Commonwealth and the South Australian or Northern Territory Governments concerning potential additional financial contributions relating to the operation of the railway?


Mr Anderson (Minister for Transport and Regional Services) —The answer to the honourable member’s question is as follows:

(1)  

(a)   $1.3 billion.

(b)   The Australian and Northern Territory Governments are each contributing up to $191.4 million and the South Australian Government is contributing up to $176.4 million.  The remaining $740.2 million was funded by the private Asia Pacific Transport Consortium. (2)   (a)   The Australian Government’s decision to contribute funds to the project was not based on any one particular feasibility study but on the significant benefits that the rail link would provide to the Northern Territory, South Australia and the entire nation.

(b)   The Great Southern Railway, operator of the passenger service on the Adelaide to Darwin Railway, reported that in its first year of service The Ghan carried over 70,000 passengers.         FreightLink, operator of the freight services on the Adelaide to Darwin Railway, reported that nearly 600,000 tonnes of freight were carried in its first 12 months, some 220,000 tonnes above its first year target of 380,000 tonnes.         FreightLink, operator of the freight services on the Adelaide to Darwin Railway, reported that more than 16,000 tonnes of freight were exported via the Port of Darwin.

(2)  

(a)   The Australian Government’s decision to contribute funds to the project was not based on any one particular feasibility study but on the significant benefits that the rail link would provide to the Northern Territory, South Australia and the entire nation.

(b)   The Great Southern Railway, operator of the passenger service on the Adelaide to Darwin Railway, reported that in its first year of service The Ghan carried over 70,000 passengers.         FreightLink, operator of the freight services on the Adelaide to Darwin Railway, reported that nearly 600,000 tonnes of freight were carried in its first 12 months, some 220,000 tonnes above its first year target of 380,000 tonnes.         FreightLink, operator of the freight services on the Adelaide to Darwin Railway, reported that more than 16,000 tonnes of freight were exported via the Port of Darwin.

(3)   The Australian Government has had no consultations with the operator of the railway concerning potential additional financial contributions relating to the operations of the railway.