The Queensland resources sector is extremely disappointed by Aurizon’s move to pre-empt the regulatory process by moving to change its maintenance program before the QCA process is completed.
By its own estimates, for the sake of $25 million in its maintenance allowance, the decision by Aurizon to move away from a flexible maintenance system to an inflexible system, would cost Queensland 20 million tonnes of coal exports per year.
This is worth $4 billion in export income and would cost the State Government around $500 million in lost royalties each year, enough to pay the wages for 7,388 teachers, or 7,060 police constables or 7,430 registered nurses.
This latest announcement shows Aurizon is willing to use its power as the monopoly operator of the network and further highlights why the regulatory process needs to be followed to maintain a level playing field.
The Queensland Resources Council (QRC) is calling on Aurizon to step back from its decision and is seeking reassurances from them to instead engage constructively with the regulator to review any concerns with maintenance.
This will ensure the company gets on with the job of running the central Queensland coal network efficiently and in the interests of all Queenslanders and stakeholders.
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