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Lobby group WA Farmers will once again express its opposition to Brookfield Infrastructure Partners' $9 billion bid for ports and rail operator Asciano, in a public submission to the ACCC.
Last October, the competition regulator expressed reservations about the proposed takeover.
The ACCC said the vertical integration between Asciano subsidiary Pacific National and Brookfield's rail network in Western Australia and its Dalrymple Bay coal terminal in central Queensland, would "substantially lessen competition" in above rail haulage in those states.
Brookfield has subsequently revised its proposal for Asciano, which includes a commitment to divest to an independent party Pacific National's bulk rail operations in WA.
The ACCC has called for public submissions on this fresh proposal.
According to WA Farmers president Dale Park, the revised proposal was not significantly different from the original.
"We were worried about the creation of the monopoly and the vertical integration that is going to happen with the takeover of Asciano," Mr Park said.
"Brookfield asked for more time while they made a submission or a suggestion on what they might do if they took over Asciano.
"They have said they will divest themselves of all their above rail throughout Australia and half way through the document you read that they have actually got a whole heap of exemptions or exceptions.
"That means that they're actually not going to get rid of very much at all, and especially not in Western Australia."
Mr Park said if the acquisition was approved, it would result in more grain being transported on Western Australian roads, rather than rail.
"I think what it is going to mean is that they will have even more power and more pressure," Mr Park said.
Opponents of the acquisition are concerned rail lines that service remote areas of WA will be scrapped.
"Keeping in mind that if Brookfield keep doing what they are wanting to do at the moment, there won't be any tier three [rail lines]," Mr Park said.
"They'll be closing down virtually all the tier two [rail lines] so it will be the standard gauge and tier one [rail lines] that we are really looking at.
"The standard gauge is almost at capacity, that will just make it harder for grain growers to ship grain by rail and I suspect that they'll have to go for the more expensive road option."
Brookfield Infrastructure Partners has been contacted for comment.
This article first appeared on www.abc.net.au
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