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Aurizon warns miners of train cuts

Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor: Australasia
Freight operator Aurizon has reportedly advised Queensland coal companies that it would ‘dramatically cut’ train movements on the Goonyella system of the Central Queensland Coal Network (CQCN). The Goonyella system connects several of Queensland’s largest metallurgical coal suppliers to the port of Hay Point. “Based on these developments, the Queensland Resources Council (QRC) believes it is now clear Aurizon is determined to stop the movement of 20-million tonnes of coal,” said QRC CEO Ian Macfarlane. Aurizon in February announced plans to change its maintenance programme in response to the Queensland Competition Authority’s (QCA’s) draft decision on the company’s 2017 draft access undertaking. The QCA’s final decision is due at the end of the year. Macfarlane has warned that Aurizon’s plans to cut train movements could result in a A$4-billion decline in Queensland exports and a A$500-million decline in annual royalties to the Queensland government. “It will mean the Queensland government will have A$2-billion less to spend on services and infrastructure for Queenslanders, all because of the actions of one company. This will directly impact on the state Budget next month,” Macfarlane added. The QRC has repeated its call to Aurizon to resume its normal maintenance programme until the QCA made its final determination, and until Aurizon’s Supreme Court Action against the QCA had been finalised.

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