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Consultants to assess Track Australia



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News Release Hon. Laurie Brereton MP Minister for Transport ♦ Minister for Industrial Relations T60/95 16 August, 1995

CONSULTANTS TO ASSESS TRACK AUSTRALIA

The Federal Minister for Transport, Laurie Brereton, today announced the appointment of Symonds Travers Morgan to report to the Government on the costs and benefits of the proposed new authority, Track Australia, to manage the interstate rail network.

The Track Australia concept was unveiled by Mr Brereton in June during celebrations to mark the completion of the national standard gauge rail line.

The appointment of Symonds Travers Morgan followed commitments from all States to participate in the assessment of the proposal, Mr Brereton said.

“We believe the assessment process will demonstrate the benefits of Track Australia in terms of national competition policy, access to interstate rail freight corridors, and in generating resources for future track investment,” he said.

Mr Brereton said the proposal continued the momentum of change generated within the rail industry by co-operation between the Commonwealth and the States.

“This spirit of co-operation has not only seen the completion of the standard gauge line between all mainland capitals, but also the first private rail operation between Melbourne and Perth,” he said.

Symonds Travers Morgan will report by October, enabling the governments to consider the findings of the investigation later this year.

“It is proposed that Track Australia be responsible for establishing and maintaining the interstate rail access regime, including the setting of access prices, investment priorities agreed with customers, and other conditions.”

Mr Brereton said he hoped this could occur as early as 1 July 1996, opening the way for other new operators on the rail network, bringing with them the potential to bring more freight to rail.

Media contact: Sharon McCrohan (06) 277 7320 or (0419) 229 727