ARTC to be sold

 
Topic moved from News by bevans on 11 May 2015 09:37
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
There will never be an equitable system of cost-recovery because the trucking industry has some extreme political power to wield and there's no way they'll put their windfall profits at risk by being asked to contribute more towards the roads they use.

I think realistically what will happen is that ARTC will be sold for a fraction of the expected $4 billion price tag to a foreign interest who will promptly stop preventative maintenance on the unprofitable parts of the network (think NE standard gauge mudholes times a thousand) before the bulk of the interstate system falls into disrepair and ends up having to be re-purchased by the Commonwealth later on - in much the same way that Tasmania and Victoria were forced to repurchase the below-rail operations of (what was left) of their intra-state networks.

This is not a sensible or well-thought-out privatisation that will increase competition - it will actually have the reverse affect of driving more trucks onto the interstate highway system. Hockey & Co. know this already but they don't care because by the time the problems start to manifest they'll be long gone on their six figure pensions writing columns for News Ltd.
don_dunstan
The situation  is likely to be even worse than that described. Abbott and Co are actively pursuing the abolition of all restrictions on foreign vessels and crews on coastal shipping. This is likely to have a dramatic effect on both rail and road tonnages and the associated jobs.

Nothing could do more to devalue ARTC and ensure that it is sold for a minimum price to an asset stripper. I didn't think that they had any more influential mates than the road lobby but that is apparently the case as road tonnages and jobs will be affected too but to a level less than rail. I align this to someone planning to sell their house (ARTC) in a leafy suburb but only after building a 99 storey block of flats on all sides and closing the road access to the property for good measure.

There has to be a balance between jobs, conditions and simply giving away the farm so that we can pay the dole to the maximum number of people assuming that we cannot screw them out of that too. Governments in Australia have/are selling their and our birthright - soon they will be irrelevant and a large part of the community will live in poverty forever.

It stinks!

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  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
Nothing could do more to devalue ARTC and ensure that it is sold for a minimum price to an asset stripper. I didn't think that they had any more influential mates than the road lobby but that is apparently the case as road tonnages and jobs will be affected too but to a level less than rail. I align this to someone planning to sell their house (ARTC) in a leafy suburb but only after building a 99 storey block of flats on all sides and closing the road access to the property for good measure.
YM-Mundrabilla
It's an ideological position; they don't care about the consequences of their actions down the track - they just want to divest of being responsible for nearly everything and hang the ultimate expense to the nation.

There has to be a balance between jobs, conditions and simply giving away the farm so that we can pay the dole to the maximum number of people assuming that we cannot screw them out of that too. Governments in Australia have/are selling their and our birthright - soon they will be irrelevant and a large part of the community will live in poverty forever. It stinks!
YM-Mundrabilla
Anyone who is unskilled or semi-skilled in Australia is experiencing the pointy end of a war against their wages and conditions - I despair of what will happen in the longer term. We're becoming a country where only the rich and connected have a right to succeed and the rest of us are just the working poor.
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
It's an ideological position; they don't care about the consequences of their actions down the track - they just want to divest of being responsible for nearly everything and hang the ultimate expense to the nation.

Anyone who is unskilled or semi-skilled in Australia is experiencing the pointy end of a war against their wages and conditions - I despair of what will happen in the longer term. We're becoming a country where only the rich and connected have a right to succeed and the rest of us are just the working poor.
don_dunstan
'Working poor' -  only if you are bloody lucky......
  Alco_Haulic Chief Commissioner

Location: Eating out...
There will never be an equitable system of cost-recovery because the trucking industry has some extreme political power to wield and there's no way they'll put their windfall profits at risk by being asked to contribute more towards the roads they use.
don_dunstan
The only people making profit from road transport, are the likes of Linfox. And even then, "Windfall" is way off the mark. Road haulage rates are currently way below cost recovery for general goods. The only segments that have kept rates at a cost recovery has been refrigerated, and specialist haulage.

As for the cost recovery, remember that most trucks run at around 70% of gross mass limits. For instance, for the last three weeks, I have been moving 20 tonne concrete panels. It is a 60km round trip, of which only 30km is spent loaded. Now the Tare weight would be about 16 tonnes (I know the prime mover weight, the trailer weight is a guess), so that makes a total weight of 36-37 tonnes. So about 85% of my mass limit, and that's less than half the time. So even though we don't pay a full figure for the weight, we only travel close to the weight on limited occasions.
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
No-one is arguing that trucking is not already a competitive industry. What's being discussed is the fact that rail will (soon) move to 100% cost recovery (plus new owner mark-up) while trucking continues to be cross-subsidised by private motorists. It puts rail at a structural disadvantage when trying to compete against trucks.
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
It's an ideological position; they don't care about the consequences of their actions down the track - they just want to divest of being responsible for nearly everything and hang the ultimate expense to the nation.

don_dunstan
Arh the age old question? When is a govt divesting their responsibilities and when are they developing the nation and opening up business opportunities to the private sector?

Govt assets sold that quickly come to mind, mostly Fed, but some common state ones where I have used the NSW name
- GIO (other state equivalent)
- TAB (other state equivalent)
- Govt printing office
- CBA
- All the Airports
- STATE BANK of (insert state name)
- Qantas
- Telstra
- ANL
- Pac National
- GSR
- Freight Corp
- Medibank Private
- Some power and water assets, such as NRG in Gladstone, Qle
- Coal mines
- Is Comcar still govt owned?

Additionally, In some cases the relevant govt may have not sold assets but they have allowed private sector to invest. Qld for example has allowed private sector to build power generation and NSW has privately built and owned HV transmission lines. Both states also have privately funded airport railways.

And, govt departments use to have inhouse service sectors for many of its departments that are now outsourced such as cleaning, IT etc.


So out of above where has the govt "divested their responsibilities"? and where has the business been allowed to continue in private hands for the betterment of the taxpayer and consumer alike?

Note:
I have no issue selling Hunter Coal as I see parrallels with Aurizon, although I didn't agree with rail operations and track being sold as one in CQ coal.

Note2: I don't believe there is alot of value gained in selling the interstate. Its a monopoly and some sections would be marginal at best. Contracting out operating is probably more viable.
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
Why drag all those other superfluous examples in, why not look specifically at what happened when the below rail networks of Victoria and Tasmania were last under private ownership? That's probably the most analogous predictor to the impending sale of ARTC.
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
Why drag all those other superfluous examples in, why not look specifically at what happened when the below rail networks of Victoria and Tasmania were last under private ownership? That's probably the most analogous predictor to the impending sale of ARTC.
don_dunstan
Why don't you go back even further and see what a basket case the Tas and SA rail system where and how run down they were prior to feds taken over. Same could be said for NSW regional lines, remember the Mengal bridge fiasco.

The first owners of both Tasrail and V/line were also more positive than the previous govt ownership.

Meanwhile Aurizon are investing and the NT line is continuing to operate.

There is good and bath in both sides.

Q is if the system is in a positive to cover its own running costs, then why not? We also lack the details the sale. For example post sale would the feds still be paying for the NSFC? or future equivalent of SSFL?

Until someone posts the details, then this is all a moot point.
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
The first owners of both Tasrail and V/line were also more positive than the previous govt ownership.
RTT_Rules
I don't know of anyone (except you) who thinks PN's stewardship of the Victorian frieght network was a good thing for rail freight in this state.

I was living here in Victoria when PN did most of their good works as owners of the intrastate railway network. The first thing PN did when they took over Victoria was send most of the broad gauge fleet to Simsmetal - it was a very positive, affirming move for the future of broad-gauge freight when they did that, also reflected in the amount of former rail customers who went to trucks. The amount of intrastate rail traffic plummeted from about 15% to about 2% - the complete opposite of what was promised when V/line freight was privatised. By the time PN handed the system back to the Brumby government there were almost no customers and no rolling-stock left to run on it.


Meanwhile Aurizon are investing and the NT line is continuing to operate.
RTT_Rules
Just wait until there's some major work required - the speed restrictions will increase to the point of it becoming un-viable. Meanwhile, Aurizon itself has some substantial cash-flow problems with coal projects elsewhere that might threaten the long-term viability of the company.

The private sector simply doesn't invest in perway - it's just how it is in Australia. It's always been this way. There's no reason to think that any ARTC privatisation will be any different.
  seb2351 Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney

The private sector simply doesn't invest in perway - it's just how it is in Australia. It's always been this way. There's no reason to think that any ARTC privatisation will be any different.
don_dunstan
I guess the tracks must repair themselves in WA then. I will be sure to let Brookfield know.
  LancedDendrite Chief Commissioner

Location: Trapped in a meeting with Rhonda and Karsten
I think he's referring to Freight Victoria/Freight Australia, not PacNat.
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
I guess the tracks must repair themselves in WA then. I will be sure to let Brookfield know.
seb2351
Wasn't Brookfield about to walk away from the WA freight network recently because they couldn't find customers with their high access charges? Didn't the WA government have to intervene to keep the narrow gauge system going?

Outside of iron ore/coal haulage, you nearly always find government 'assistance' underwriting private ownership of below-rail. It doesn't seem to work without it.
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
I think he's referring to Freight Victoria/Freight Australia, not PacNat.
LancedDendrite
I well recall when Freight Victoria started out there were all sorts of promises about new business, getting freight back onto rail, increasing the intra-state freight task and meeting the needs of customers. It did seem that there was a freight revival in action at the start - however, PN as their successor seemed to think the hot money was in scrapping the fleet and not replacing it. There seemed to be an attitude of "if we can't make money out of it then we're going to make damn sure nobody else can even try".
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
I don't know of anyone (except you) who thinks PN's stewardship of the Victorian frieght network was a good thing for rail freight in this state.

I was living here in Victoria when PN did most of their good works as owners of the intrastate railway network. The first thing PN did when they took over Victoria was send most of the broad gauge fleet to Simsmetal - it was a very positive, affirming move for the future of broad-gauge freight when they did that, also reflected in the amount of former rail customers who went to trucks. The amount of intrastate rail traffic plummeted from about 15% to about 2% - the complete opposite of what was promised when V/line freight was privatised. By the time PN handed the system back to the Brumby government there were almost no customers and no rolling-stock left to run on it.


Just wait until there's some major work required - the speed restrictions will increase to the point of it becoming un-viable. Meanwhile, Aurizon itself has some substantial cash-flow problems with coal projects elsewhere that might threaten the long-term viability of the company.

The private sector simply doesn't invest in perway - it's just how it is in Australia. It's always been this way. There's no reason to think that any ARTC privatisation will be any different.
don_dunstan
Don,
Did you even read my post? I said FIRST OWNERS. FYI that's not PN.

TranNZ, Tasrail P/L and Freight Vic/Australia did well under their intial private owner. Whether this was sustainable is another question for which none of us know the answer. I suspect in the case of Tasrail it probably wasn't. TranzNZ should have been a much better success story and V/line should have been able to do ok, although Victoria has large amounts of route km with low tonnages and short range distances that are always a challenge for rail, more so when those tonnages are the backbone of the freight haulage tasks.

No, I did not agree then (check my posts from back then) or now that Tasrail tracks and V/line tracks should have been sold. Its a monoply that has minimal commerical viability.

NZ govt is however always been more supportive of freight on rail and hence should have aided its sucess more so than Tas and Vic where the govts were building modern roads alongside rail and then quite happy to sit back and let the freight move to road.

Vic railways is in need of some desperate rationalisation, too many km for not enough tonnes, even if more was converted to rail.

Tas lost the far NW line under AN and many others, but under private ownership they spent a bucket load on the NE line and it was all for zip and now closed and most likely to be ripped up, probably a rail trail. What is left is now the backbone and probably the only section that was ever going to be viable long term.

Re CQ coal
Coal is shipped in Qld much longer km than NSW and in general very large quantities that is what rail is all about. Hundred's of route km in the millions of tonnes, there is no competition from road. If it this is not enough to make a railway viable, nothing is and the mine should be closed rather than be a burdon on the taxpayer to pay for their railway. I think Auirzon has proved itself to want to invest where its needed. Likewise if the Hunter lines cannot survive on their own from the revenues from moving coal, the mines should be closed.

The private sector doesn't invest in perway when govt policy makes this investment a high risk option. Look at NT line, Wepia and Pilbra, all privately funded and be running now for many years, NT less so. However you make it sound like that under govt ownership all is sweet for rail when this is proven to be rubbish.

The private sector does invest when there are longterm contracts, large mix secure commerically viable tonnages and/or little practical alt competition, such as road or shipping. USA, would be a good case in point, however its shear size and volume is the main driver.

Under ALP govt in Qld
- At least 50% of the states branch lines ripped up in last 10 years, more to follow with services long since suspended. By the end of the current ALP govt. Trains will no longer exit the central west to Emerald apart from coal and maybe Winton, the WEstern main will be closed beyond the last coal mine and only branches left apart from coal will be Kuranda, Cement Australia, sugar and SW to Thaloon.

Under ALP govt in NSW
- Interstate left to rot, Menagle Bridge, Wagga Wagga Bridge, manual signally retained in main south and border crossing into Qld, outdated and poorly placed crossing loops. There was even some sort of investigation I believe in the 90's to consider closing the line to Qld.

Under LNP govt in Vic
- New concrete sleepers paid for by Fed's, left to collect dust on side of interstate in Vic
  Sulla1 Chief Commissioner

Crikey, here I go again...

Don, in the last five years Aurizon has electrified existing lines, duplicated others and has just purchased $180-million worth of new track machines. The ARTC has a total revenue of $716-million and spent $286-million on maintnenace and improvments in 2014. Aurizon's annual capital expenditure budget alone is $600-million and that doesn't include maintenance expenditure, which was $193-million in 2014. In 2014 Aurizon spent $77,200 per kilometre on its network compared to ARTC's spend of $33,700 per kilometre.

Brookfield had a contractual spat with one client, CBH, whose business is most exposed to the operating costs of low volume branchlines. But I didn't hear Aurizon, SCT or PN complaining about their access agreements. Aurizon hauls more than 26-million tonnes of iron ore and alumina related products on Brookfield's narrow gauge network. Yes, what PN did in Victoria and Tasmaina was despicable and clearly showed the weaknesses in the rail regulatory environment in those states and the dangers of a single company being allowed to take advantage of that...but to base all arguments against privatisation on the actions of a single predatory management (who are now gone) is like basing Australia's standard of democracy on the actions of a single, long passed government.
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
TranNZ, Tasrail P/L and Freight Vic/Australia did well under their intial private owner.
RTT_Rules
This was how long, five minutes before they sold out?

Like Connex and National Express, they promised a lot and made lots of reassuring noises but then actually delivered bugger all.

Crikey, here I go again...
Sulla 1
This has been discussed elsewhere before; I don't think you can compare coal/iron ore operators to ARTC. Aurizon spends big because they don't have a big or diverse network to maintain like ARTC (a quarter of the size in fact).

Brookfield is a more diverse network but has been trying to close the wheatbelt entirely down - again, cherry-picking the most profitable bulk haulage in minerals while collapsing the network elsewhere. I think the same will be repeated with ARTC - money needed for modernisation will NOT happen once privatised.

Take the inland rail project and modernising the alignment of the Sydney-Brisbane line... what bank will want to loan any private operator the multi-multi billions that will be needed for those projects? As I've said before, the only people I can think of with pockets deep enough to finance that kind of thing are the Chinese, perhaps through their new regional investment bank - perhaps that's the whole idea - get the Chinese government to rebuild our national interstate rail network? But otherwise I can't see any private sector owner like a hedge fund wanting to sink the billions required into fixing the goat-track problems of the east-coast.
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
This was how long, five minutes before they sold out?

Like Connex and National Express, they promised a lot and made lots of reassuring noises but then actually delivered bugger all.

This has been discussed elsewhere before; I don't think you can compare coal/iron ore operators to ARTC. Aurizon spends big because they don't have a big or diverse network to maintain like ARTC (a quarter of the size in fact).

Brookfield is a more diverse network but has been trying to close the wheatbelt entirely down - again, cherry-picking the most profitable bulk haulage in minerals while collapsing the network elsewhere. I think the same will be repeated with ARTC - money needed for modernisation will NOT happen once privatised.

Take the inland rail project and modernising the alignment of the Sydney-Brisbane line... what bank will want to loan any private operator the multi-multi billions that will be needed for those projects? As I've said before, the only people I can think of with pockets deep enough to finance that kind of thing are the Chinese, perhaps through their new regional investment bank - perhaps that's the whole idea - get the Chinese government to rebuild our national interstate rail network? But otherwise I can't see any private sector owner like a hedge fund wanting to sink the billions required into fixing the goat-track problems of the east-coast.
don_dunstan

5min hardly, you can do the research on this one.

Like many a govt which has done similar. Was the former NSW ALP govt any better in running the regional and interstate rail networks? No.

Did you compare Aurizon with ARTC coal networks? They have to spend more because the tracks are hammered with heavier and more frequent traffic.

Brookfield is only trying to close what it doesn't make money on! Is there any reason the state which funds some of the grain lines wouldn't do the same if they owned them? Remember Brookfield can only make money from tracks if they have traffic. Cloesly lines limits that cash source potential.

Why do you think the feds would stop the cash flow for building the Inland?

OF the ARTC network which part do you propose the could shut down? There isn't much duplicated routes after you delete those owned by others and as far as branch lines goes these are few and far between outside coal. The grain networks are controlled by others in most cases.

Whats the big deal if the Chinese want to invest? If its legal who cares what the name on the bank is called? The Chinese already hold much of Australian govt debt. The interstate is an asset they cannot move back to China so it shows they have more belief in the economy than others. If the Chinese Bank wants to fund the Inland, do it! At least it would stop the arguments here about whether it will or won't get built.
  james.au Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
In my view, governments are not in the business of being in business.  They are in the business of regulating and deregulating so that markets run efficiently and that negative impacts of our society are properly managed.  The positive impacts of our society are managed well by individuals and the private sector, so rarely require much intervention.  So in principle, privatisation is ok.

Except, i think, in the case where there are monopoly powers present.  Like the current case.  I see a privatisation of ARTC, especially East West and the Hunter Rail parts of the network, as being just that.  Like the privatisation of Sydney Airport.  I believe that these monopoly sitiuations (ie provision of track, provision of airport landing space etc) should remain in the ownership of the people, so that the monopoly profits are kept by the people (in a broad sense).  Its not a perfect solution, but saves the public from paying above market prices for something that ends up having poor service due to low competition.

ARTC is probably in need of some cultural change, to be more like a private company than an extension of a government department.  Im sure its come a long way but probably can go further.  Private enterprise would do just this.  But it would have the above problems of service provision and monopoly pricing.  

A really courageous option would be to keep it in govt ownership but play hardball and require it to make commercial returns, linking bonuses of executives to that.  Not monopoly returns, but commercial ones comparable to infrastructure companies.  And to keep trying to make the network better, ie improvements to the SYD-MEL-ADL routes to make them more competitive.  

Plus, having one rail owner, separate to all the operators, would be far easier to coordinate.  And finally, like airports, i dont believe that the above rail and below rail operations should be under the one roof.
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
Why do you think the feds would stop the cash flow for building the Inland?
RTT_Rules
Can you please stop banging on about this - there has been no 'new' money announced for this project in four years. It's been pointed out to you repeatedly (earlier in this thread even) and you still keep wilfully ignoring that point, as if its already under construction. It isn't - it's not even anywhere near commencement.

OF the ARTC network which part do you propose the could shut down?
RTT_Rules
The bits that don't survive economic analysis - as I've discussed over the last page. Most likely they won't be shut down - they'll just be left in their current state to progressively deteriorate until there's no customers and then later handed back to the Commonwealth as "the bits we can't make money on".

Really, anything outside the minerals haulage network is under future threat because the prices don't yet reflect the full cost of service delivery. Once the network access charges reflect the full cost of the service then we'll be able to make more accurate assessments of what will survive.

Whats the big deal if the Chinese want to invest? If its legal who cares what the name on the bank is called? The Chinese already hold much of Australian govt debt. The interstate is an asset they cannot move back to China so it shows they have more belief in the economy than others. If the Chinese Bank wants to fund the Inland, do it! At least it would stop the arguments here about whether it will or won't get built.
RTT_Rules

I'm not sure if you have been reading the news or not but on the one hand our esteemed leader is welcoming with open arms enormous sums of Chinese 'investment' money (to help prop up the $AUD) but on the other hand we're bolstering the US presence in Darwin with new American bombers and aircraft specifically designed to spy and intimidate on the very same Chinese as they expand their presence across the South China Sea.

I'm sure nothing can go wrong at all with those mixed messages! I'm sure the Chinese won't use their economic ownership of our resources and infrastructure in the future to wedge us against the collapsing hegemony of the United States. I'm sure that won't happen at all.
  seb2351 Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney


I'm not sure if you have been reading the news or not but on the one hand our esteemed leader is welcoming with open arms enormous sums of Chinese 'investment' money (to help prop up the $AUD) but on the other hand we're bolstering the US presence in Darwin with new American bombers and aircraft specifically designed to spy and intimidate on the very same Chinese as they expand their presence across the South China Sea.

don_dunstan
Lol, you are aware that the Reserve Bank along with the Australian Government have been actively looking and implementing policy that would see the Australian dollar fall from stubborn highs to a more realistic value of between US$0.65-0.70? The trade commission is encouraging investment in our country, and by extension the Government, because we need to move to a digital economy that is supported by a strong services framework. The age of manufacturing and agricultural is rapidly becoming a distant memory for Australia. It is only through foreign investment that sufficient capital can be injected to support the transitioning of our economy. Particularly on the back of the mining sector moving from construction to production phase.

But, I suppose making xenophobic threats against our regional Asian partners works as well. Excluding residential property, Foreign investment by the US is $17.5b. China is $15b. I note that it isn't Chinese warships and soldiers building bases in our country. So why no outcry about the US involvement? Allies have never back-stabbed each other before have they?

The passive-aggressive racism evidenced on these boards time and time again represents a complete failure of the older generations to accept their role in a globalized society. Better stop now, I expect the nuclear bombs from China and invasion armies are due in 30 minutes..
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
You're completely mis-representing where I'm coming from.

I for one welcome our new People's Republic overlords (and landlords, business-owners). But I don't know how long we'll be able to stay in ANZUS while it appears to pursue a 'contain China's military expansion' policy.

At the moment we are having a bob each way - we think we can be buddies with both yesterday's hegemony and our traditional ally the United States and a (now) fully fledged economic superpower, our most important trading partner, China.  But it won't stay like that forever; at some stage soon we'll be asked to choose between our two wonderful, powerful friends - and it's inevitably going to result in someone's feelings getting hurt.
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
The trade commission is encouraging investment in our country, and by extension the Government, because we need to move to a digital economy that is supported by a strong services framework.
seb2351
That's lifted straight out of the Generational Report and it's total rubbish - it's just a new incarnation of the same reassuring lie that somewhere out in the ether there will be a new age-type Australia where everyone will have lots of money and well-paid jobs. If you were alive in the eighties you would have been sold the BS (as we all were) that the future was all in services and that everyone will need to have a degree to be relevant or they'll be unemployed. You've just bought the twenty-first century equivalent of that lie, that's all, the one that says services and a highly-educated workforce will save our bacon.  It won't.
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
You're completely mis-representing where I'm coming from.

I for one welcome our new People's Republic overlords (and landlords, business-owners). But I don't know how long we'll be able to stay in ANZUS while it appears to pursue a 'contain China's military expansion' policy.

At the moment we are having a bob each way - we think we can be buddies with both yesterday's hegemony and our traditional ally the United States and a (now) fully fledged economic superpower, our most important trading partner, China.  But it won't stay like that forever; at some stage soon we'll be asked to choose between our two wonderful, powerful friends - and it's inevitably going to result in someone's feelings getting hurt.
don_dunstan
China investing in Oz has nothing to do with ANZUS. EU is the bulk of NATO and most run on Russian gas!

Rudd started the Chinese friendship when he went cap in hand for cash in 2009. China is taking increasing financial interest world wide and one of their biggest debtors is the US Govt and one of the US govts biggest creditors is China. I highly doubt anything we do will be more significant than that.
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
You're completely mis-representing where I'm coming from.

I for one welcome our new People's Republic overlords (and landlords, business-owners). But I don't know how long we'll be able to stay in ANZUS while it appears to pursue a 'contain China's military expansion' policy.

At the moment we are having a bob each way - we think we can be buddies with both yesterday's hegemony and our traditional ally the United States and a (now) fully fledged economic superpower, our most important trading partner, China.  But it won't stay like that forever; at some stage soon we'll be asked to choose between our two wonderful, powerful friends - and it's inevitably going to result in someone's feelings getting hurt.
China investing in Oz has nothing to do with ANZUS. EU is the bulk of NATO and most run on Russian gas!

Rudd started the Chinese friendship when he went cap in hand for cash in 2009. China is taking increasing financial interest world wide and one of their biggest debtors is the US Govt and one of the US govts biggest creditors is China. I highly doubt anything we do will be more significant than that.
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
Can you please stop banging on about this - there has been no 'new' money announced for this project in four years. It's been pointed out to you repeatedly (earlier in this thread even) and you still keep wilfully ignoring that point, as if its already under construction. It isn't - it's not even anywhere near commencement.

The bits that don't survive economic analysis - as I've discussed over the last page. Most likely they won't be shut down - they'll just be left in their current state to progressively deteriorate until there's no customers and then later handed back to the Commonwealth as "the bits we can't make money on".

Really, anything outside the minerals haulage network is under future threat because the prices don't yet reflect the full cost of service delivery. Once the network access charges reflect the full cost of the service then we'll be able to make more accurate assessments of what will survive.


I'm not sure if you have been reading the news or not but on the one hand our esteemed leader is welcoming with open arms enormous sums of Chinese 'investment' money (to help prop up the $AUD) but on the other hand we're bolstering the US presence in Darwin with new American bombers and aircraft specifically designed to spy and intimidate on the very same Chinese as they expand their presence across the South China Sea.

I'm sure nothing can go wrong at all with those mixed messages! I'm sure the Chinese won't use their economic ownership of our resources and infrastructure in the future to wedge us against the collapsing hegemony of the United States. I'm sure that won't happen at all.
don_dunstan

Inland, yes you told me. But they still haven't spent the old money yet so how can they ask for new money? I've also state before that the Inland construction to join Nth Star and AR was not due to start until 2019/20 to match the long discussed time line of mid 2020's so why do they need this money now and why would selling ARTC change this?

Ok, which bits will be run down? Which bits in NSW will be run down more than previous govt ownership did?

Do you know that Network Access charges are not 100% covering maintenance?

Do you know what the terms and conditions of sale of ARTC include?

Do you know if the buyer will be contractually required to maintain the lines to a pre-determined standard?

Do you know that capital upgrades like SSFL will be forced upon the new owner or remain at with the govt?

Does any of us here know any of the above?

Others have stated both RBA and Feds having being trying to lower the AUD for sometime as below AUD need to drop below US70c to help save the economy through more viable foreign investment, less attractive to foreign workers and more domestic spending especially the tourism market. China is cashed up to support these on all fronts.

In the past Japan was in a similar position and funding much of our mining and heavy industry, provided a large source of tourists and now the bulk of our cars are from Japan and of note the last car made in Australia will most likely of Japanese design, ie Camry!

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