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Thursday, 29 October 2009
Page: 7732


Senator Ludlam asked the Minister representing the Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government, upon notice, on 9 September 2009:

(1)   Is the Minister aware that the Shell Oil company will no longer use rail to transport fuel from its depot at Sandown, Sydney to depots in Dubbo, Canberra, Tamworth and Wagga Wagga, and that all future deliveries to these depots will be carried by road haulage using B-double trucks.

(2)   Has the Minister or his staff sought an explanation from Shell for this decision; if not, why not.

(3)   Given that the Federal Government is allocating $2.4 billion to the Australian Rail Track Corporation Ltd to upgrade the interstate rail network to provide competition to road haulage, and given that the decision by Shell will undermine this long-term plan for rail, is the Minister satisfied with Shell’s decision and the rationale it has offered.

(4)   How will risk and occupational health and safety issues be assessed and managed.

(5)   Does the Minister consider that the increased congestion, subsequent risk of injury and environmental damage, is acceptable.


Senator Conroy (Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy) —The Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government has provided the following answer to the honourable senator’s question:

(1)   to (3) The decision by Shell Australia to transport goods by road or rail is a commercial decision for the company.

(4)   Shell Australia within Australia is required by law to conform to state and territory     occupational health and safety legislation.

(5)   Refer to previous answer.