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Rail Freight Service

RTBU Calls for Intervention of the Federal Government to Stop Acquisition of Asciano and Improvement in Rail Freight Service

For trade and commerce to flourish, it is not only necessary to have excellent connectivity by road, railways, air and water but it is also extremely important to have transparency in the systems that manage the transportation mechanism. After all, freight service is directly proportional to the success of the business and hence any problem in it would hinder complete and full-fledged growth. The RTBU, which is in favor of full-fledged growth of trade and commerce, wants to stop acquisition of Asciano by Brookfield Infrastructure, only to ensure competency in service. In an interview to the media, RTBU national secretary Bob Nanva said that he would be still be welcoming the acquisition of Asciano if the freight service by rail is monitored and supervised by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).

There has been disparity between the actual performance and pricing, and the Asciano has already complained that the current model that is used to govern the railway tracks by transportation carriers, is not free from defects and ensures maximum profit for the Brookfield Infrastructure. Currently Brookfield Infrastructure is the main rail freight operator in Western Australia, with more than 5500km of rails under its direct control. However major grain exporters like the CBH has also spoken against Brookfield Infrastructure. It fears that full acquisition of the Asciano will concentrate all power into the hands of the company and will only help it to earn maximum profits.

This complaint has been brought to notice of Western Australia’s Economic Regulation Authority who are currently reviewing the situation and hints at giving control of interstate rail to the ACCC. However it is the demand of the transportation carriers and the RTBU that the existing system of regulation of the railway networks be reformed prior to taking any decision on the acquisition. The regulatory laws should not only be strict but also strictly implemented and transparency maintained without power getting concentrated on a single hand.

If the Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) is put up for sale then Brookfield Infrastructure is sure to bid for it. Brookfield already is in charge of rail tracks from Perth to Kalgoorlie and if it manages to buy ARTC then it would be having monopoly from the East to the West of Australia. Freight Service by rail in Australia would literally come under the wings of Brookfield Infrastructure. This is a very good opportunity for the company to expand, according to Canadian analysts. ARTC has about 8500 kilometers of rail tracks across the country and will provide a very good opportunity for Brookfield to expand.

Source From: http://www.smh.com.au/business/rail-tram-bus-union-says-freight-rail-is-a-regulatory-dogs-breakfast-20150928-gjwjjg.html