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ADANI has rejected the idea of letting the Federal Government construct its proposed rail line in the Galilee Basin despite concerns the Indian conglomerate might monopolise the infrastructure.
Adani spokesman Ron Watson said the proposed line, which would link its Carmichael mine with the Abbot Point port, would be open access.
“Competition brings price competitiveness so we will be having an open access common user line which means that if Aurizon, Greater Pacific or whoever wanted to do a deal with any of the others and use our line then they would be able to,” he said.
Infrastructure and Transport Minister Darren Chester said the Federal Government had not considered funding the rail line, with the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility currently deciding whether Adani should be granted a concessional loan for the project.
However, One Nation senator Pauline Hanson last week called on the Federal Government to fund the infrastructure in order to keep the profits in Queensland’s hands.
Mr Watson said users of the rail line would have to pay, but it was no different to a toll road.
“The competition between ourselves and other carriers would be the bottom line,” he said.
“If you go back in time the reason the Galilee hasn’t been developed before is because of the cost of transportation.
“We’ve already worked out that our rates are 60 per cent cheaper than Aurizon’s.
“It’s not something we just pulled out of the air.”
Mr Chester said the Government had not considered funding the rail line.
“Adani has always proposed the line as a common user facility, which means it could be accessed by other freight carriers,” he said.
“A loan from the NAIF would stipulate that the rail line be open access.”
Herbert MP Cathy O’Toole said there was validity in investigating the idea of a government-owned line.
“I think that is a very new proposition and not one that’s had much debate,” she said.
“That conversation would be around infrastructure projects separate to the NAIF.”
This article first appeared on www.townsvillebulletin.com.au
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