The two parties to the disputes in WA and Queensland are both non-government commercial enterprises where Aurizon was the incumbent 'owner' of the traffic and the infrastructure and rolling stock.
During the due diligence phase and the tendering process Watco would/should have been aware of all the infrastructure ownership and access issues and have had clear and realistic plans surrounding them.
Are there elements of incompetence, negligence, arrogance, assumption and, perhaps even, bluff involved in both these WA and Queensland projects? Or did Watco not seriously expect to win the traffics?
Surely access to the cattle yards etc owned by 'others' (the opposition) is fairly fundamental to the successful takeover of 'their' traffic.
Is it now simply a commercial agreement between the two companies in which the government has little direct influence ie 'screw or be screwed'?
Yet another example of flawed privatisation?