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Aurizon [QR National]

Started by Fares_Fair, November 23, 2011, 10:58:45 AM

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Fares_Fair

Article: QR National float a success.
from The Business Spectator
November 22, 2011

http://www.businessspectator.com.au/bs.nsf/Article/QR-National-float-a-success-Fraser-NTU2D?OpenDocument&src=hp18


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
QR National float a success: Fraser
Published 9:27 AM, 22 Nov 2011


AAP

The Queensland government has declared victory in its controversial privatisation of the state freight rail line.

The government retained a 34 per cent share in QR National Ltd, which was floated 12 months ago.

Treasurer Andrew Fraser said the decision to sell QR National was vindicated by how well its shares had performed on the Australian stock exchange.



After debuting at $2.55 - $2.45 for "mum and dad" retail investors - QRN closed at $3.46 on Monday.

"For taxpayers, the 34 per cent stake we retained at listing has grown in value by over $750 million from $2.1 billion to almost $2.9 billion," Mr Fraser said.

"It has outperformed the ASX 200 by 40 per cent."

The government came under fire from unions for not flagging the sale of the business during the run-up to the 2009 state election.

Only after retaining government did Labor announce it would break up Queensland Rail, retaining the passenger service and selling the freight arm.

Mr Fraser on Tuesday said it was a good call.

"The reforms, which included the QR National transaction, saw capital-intensive commercial businesses no longer making a call on the public balance sheet," Mr Fraser said.

"No longer do the schools, roads and hospitals Queenslanders need have to compete for taxpayer funds with QR National's investment needs, which are now met by the private sector, which profits from this investment."
Regards,
Fares_Fair


HappyTrainGuy

Victory? For QRN it was a success with just over 9 billion in assets now acquired. How much did the Captain sell it for again?  :(

ozbob

There are big ads everywhere, QRN is proud of the fact that it is rail business with no passengers and moves a nation  ...

Sums it all up nicely IMHO ...
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From the Couriermail click here!

QR National poised for major job cuts

QuoteQR National poised for major job cuts

    by: John McCarthy
    From: The Courier-Mail
    June 05, 2012 12:00AM

MAJOR redundancies are expected to be announced by QR National today as the company tries to rein in its operations and costs and shed itself of the bureaucracy it inherited from the Bligh state government.

There had been speculation that 900 jobs would go but the company yesterday rejected this as too high.

QR National said it would not comment on the actual number until it started consultation today with its workers.

The Rail Tram and Bus Union expected the number would be significant. About 600 jobs were cut last year when the company called for voluntary redundancies and received 900 applications.

Under its current agreement with the unions, all redundancies must be voluntary and it cannot force anyone to leave the company or accept a transfer.

RTBU secretary Owen Doogan said he was concerned for the workers who received a big percentage of their pay in penalties and whether that would be reflected in the payouts.

"There are very negative implications for a lot of people,'' Mr Doogan said.

However he said the company was refusing to discuss any details until today's meetings.

"They have clamped up about the whole thing,'' he said.

Meetings will be held with the unions tomorrow and the company will also hold consultation with staff.

The job losses are expected to  be in the operational side of  the business.

"QR National has been examining changes to its business and last week advised staff and unions that it would begin consultation on these proposals from Tuesday,'' a spokesman said.

"We are unable to respond further until Tuesday and after consultation has commenced.''

The redundancies are part of a restructuring QR National started last year to put itself on a equal footing with competitors which haven't had the burden of government ownership. The reason for the redundancies was the same as that given last year.

Before the former government sold off of the freight haulage arm of Queensland Rail, workers were assured their jobs would be safe for at least three years.

But the workers also traded off their job-for-life security with a one-off payment of $4000, a 4 per cent pay rise and an extension of the employment guarantee from two years to more than three.

They also received $1000 worth of shares in the QR National float.

QR National was the coal and freight division sold by the Bligh government and became a public company in 2010.

It has about 9000 employees.
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How does any organisation get 900 people who don't actually need to be there??!?!
I'm not a TMR. Negative people... have a problem for every solution. Posts are commentary and are not necessarily endorsed by RAIL Back on Track or its members.

somebody

Quote from: tramtrain on June 05, 2012, 06:36:10 AM
How does any organisation get 900 people who don't actually need to be there??!?!
Happens pretty easily in the public service - they don't get rid of people, although perhaps they might offer them a voluntary redundancy.

colinw

Quote from: ozbob on November 23, 2011, 12:50:25 PM
QRN is proud of the fact that it is rail business with no passengers and moves a nation  ...

Why carry passengers when you can make far more money moving Chinese CO2 emissions coal?

HappyTrainGuy

Have to remember QRN is a national rail operator and it does buy out other freight and rail operators.

ozbob

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http://www.qrnational.com.au/MediaCentre/MediaReleases/Pages/QRNATIONALBEGINSCONSULTATIONONRESTRUCTURINGPROPOSALS.aspx

ASX / Media Release: QR National begins consultation on restructuring proposals
05 June 2012

QR National today began consulting with employees and unions on further proposed company-wide changes as part of a restructure that commenced in 2011.

The proposed changes include restructuring and reform across QR National that are aimed at reducing costs, improving efficiency and delivering enhanced customer service.

Employees across the company will be asked for expressions of interest in voluntary redundancy. There will be no forced redundancies and no forced relocations for the majority of employees.

The final organisation structures and number of redundancies decided upon by QR National will be dependent on feedback received from staff and unions during the consultation process. However, based on the proposed restructuring and previous demand in the last company-wide voluntary redundancy scheme, it is anticipated this would be in excess of 500.

"We continue to deal with a raft of legacy issues including higher than required staffing levels, high corporate overheads and bureaucratic structures after more than 145 years in government ownership," QR National Managing Director & CEO Lance Hockridge said today.

"Our cost base is too high when compared to competitors and rail industry peers.

"While QR National continues to grow we need to better serve customers and improve our operating and financial performance if we are to safeguard an ongoing strong future for our company, our employees and shareholders."

QR National Executive Vice President Human Resources John Stephens said QR National was aiming to address this problem by continuing to reduce management and supervisory levels, rationalising back-office support functions and non-core business activity, and consolidating the company's operations and commercial functions.

Mr Stephens said the consultation period with staff and unions was proposed to run from today until 22 June, 2012. When consultation concludes, QR National will make a decision on the proposals including consideration of suggestions, ideas and contributions received during the consultation period.

Pending consultation it is expected the proposed reforms would start to be implemented from mid-August 2012.

For further details:

External Relations & Communications

Email:   media@qrnational.com.au
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From the Queensland Times click here!

QR National jobs to be shed

QuoteQR National jobs to be shed

5th June 2012 5:01 PM

HUNDREDS of jobs are to be shed from QR National and workers at Ipswich's Redbank workshops won't be spared.

Directors of the freight haulage company, which currently employs about 700 people at Redbank, spent yesterday afternoon in meetings with union officials after announcing it planned to continue the restructuring process that began with hundreds of redundancies last year.

Following the meeting, QR National said more than 500 employees across the state would be made redundant.

While it was unclear exactly how many jobs would go at Redbank, union officials said all staff at the workshops would be able to apply for redundancy.

QR National CEO Lance Hockridge said a legacy of bureaucracy from the company's previous government ownership was part of the problem.

"Our cost base is too high when compared to competitors and rail industry peers," Mr Hockridge said.

"While QR National continues to grow, we need to better serve customers and improve our operating and financial performance if we are to safeguard an ongoing strong future for our company, our employees and shareholders."

The announcement flies in the face of the former government's pledge that every employee would have a three-year job guarantee following the government sell-off in 2010.

Less than two years later, QR National has already made more than 600 positions redundant.

The company has promised no forced redundancies and no forced relocations for the majority of employees.

Electrical Trades Union organiser Jason Young said QR National had its sights set on shedding 6500 of the 9000 positions across the state.

"I think it's just another kick in the guts for all QR National employees and part of the slow death caused by privatisation," he said. "QR National does not care about regional communities because it is now all about the almighty dollar."

QR National human resources spokesman John Stephens said QR National would take aim at management and supervisory levels, back-office support and "non-core" business activity.

A consultation period with staff and unions was proposed to run from yesterday until June 22, with reforms to come into place by mid-August.
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mufreight

Quote from: tramtrain on June 05, 2012, 06:36:10 AM
How does any organisation get 900 people who don't actually need to be there??!?!

Well Translink is a pretty good example of a self justifing bureaucracy

ozbob

Treasurer and Minister for Trade
The Honourable Tim Nicholls

Newman Government's Aurizon sale delivers value for Queenslanders

The Newman Government has today confirmed it will sell $806 million worth of shares in Aurizon Holdings (formerly QR National) in a deal which will maximise benefits for Queensland taxpayers.

The deal involves the sale of 200 million shares in Aurizon to institutional and sophisticated investors in Australia and offshore.

Treasurer Tim Nicholls said the deal was a great outcome for Queenslanders, as the price the Government achieved for the sale will see more funds available to pay down Labor's debt.

"The shares have been sold at a price of $4.03 per share, being a premium to Aurizon's volume weighted average trading price on Friday and the 5 and 10 day volume weighted average trading prices," he said.

"The Government will also receive a 4.1 cents per share dividend from Aurizon on the shares that have been sold, which is payable on 27 March 2013.

"In other words, we have again fulfilled our commitment to achieve the best possible price for the sale of a significant proportion of our remaining shares in Aurizon.

"The $806 million sale represents a gain of around $300 million to Queensland's bottom line since the Initial Public Offer.

"It shows that investors clearly view Queensland as a great State of great opportunity."

On completion of the selldown, the Government's holding in Aurizon will reduce from 18.2 per cent (389.2 million shares) to 8.9 per cent (189.2 million shares).

Mr Nicholls said the Queensland Government continued to be a significant shareholder in Aurizon.

"Queensland taxpayers have benefited significantly from the patience shown by the Newman Government in managing its holding in Aurizon," he said.

"While the Government will continue to review its residual 8.9 per cent holding in Aurizon, we have no current intention to sell additional shares in the near term."

Proceeds from the sale are anticipated to be received on Thursday 21 March 2013.

[ENDS] 16 March 2013
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SurfRail

I would have hung onto them for no reason other than the price has been trending upwards ever since the IPO.  It got to $4.20 the other day.
Ride the G:

ozbob

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Queensland Times --> More job losses at Redbank

QuoteREDBANK railway workers were left "devastated" after Aurizon broke the news of another round of redundancies yesterday.

Workers were told 85 of the site's 485 staff will be made redundant in the third and most significant round of job cuts since the company was privatised under the Bligh Government.

The redundancies will reduce the workforce - which was more than 700-strong just two years ago - to just over 400.

The announcement blind-sided union officials, who were given no inkling of the pending redundancies at a meeting with Aurizon earlier this

week. Electrical Trades Union state organiser Jason Young said he began receiving messages from workers at 7.30am.

"We didn't know it was coming at all. We have been negotiating with Aurizon this week. We had a meeting yesterday and no one said a word to us," he said.

He said morale amongst staff had dropped, adding workers were "devastated, absolutely distraught."

An Aurizon spokesperson said 85 positions were being made redundant at the Redbank facility, while15 new positions were being created.

Aurizon has created 23 new positions at its Rockhampton site.

The spokesperson said the reasons for the proposed changes included a shift in the company's coal and freight haulage business to central Queensland.

The spokesperson also pointed to reduced activity at workshops as a result of ongoing rationalisation, improved maintenance strategies and changed maintenance schedules.

Staff will be able to apply for one of the newly created positions.

"There is no forced redundancy for employees at these sites," the spokesperson said.

"Employees in affected roles are able to seek redeployment to new roles...or can express an interest in the voluntary redundancy scheme.

"This provides the flexibility to work with employees and place as many people as possible into roles while allowing people seeking voluntary redundancy to leave the company.

"No final decisions will be made until we've completed consultation with employees."

Mr Young said the redundancies would be spread throughout the five different workshops.
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ozbob

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Stillwater


From the news report:

"Aurizon plans to end passenger-related maintenance contracts for Queensland Rail at both facilities, as the contracts expire, in an effort to reduce costs."

The question is where will 'passenger-related maintenance' for Queensland Rail rolling stock take place other than at Aurizon facilities?

ozbob

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pandmaster

Quote from: Stillwater on May 08, 2014, 11:33:18 AM
The question is where will 'passenger-related maintenance' for Queensland Rail rolling stock take place other than at Aurizon facilities?

This is greasing us up for the end of the Inlander IMO. No way the cars will be taken to Brisbane or Rocky for maintenance as there will not be a Sunlander to attach them to and no way they would be attached to a freight train or hauled South by themselves. If Newman/Emerson actually wanted to keep it (which I sincerely doubt), perhaps they could couple it with the Spirit of the Outback and split at Rocky? Once the Sunlander goes there will be plenty of rollingstock.

ozbob

Electric suburban sets have been getting overhauls at Redbank. 

No doubt that both the Inlander and Westlander will cease later this year I expect.
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QuoteAurizon plans to end passenger-related maintenance contracts for Queensland Rail at both facilities, as the contracts expire, in an effort to reduce costs.

It is not hard to see why this is happening. Aurizon appears to want to focus on freight rail, not QR Passenger services which are a carry over from its time as a division of QR.

I don't think it is unreasonable to change your business operations. Plans are guided by the need to reduce supply costs as anywhere else.

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/companies/aurizon-looks-at-job-cuts-asset-sale/story-fn91v9q3-1226681631481#

Jobs are created and destroyed all the time. Ikea has announced plans to expand as has Costco.
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HappyTrainGuy

Might be a long drive from Rocky or Newscastle to Brisbane if a train hits another truck on a level crossing that requires someone to use a blowtorch  :hg :hg

(For those that don't know it wasn't the QR gangs that did the cutting up of the EMU).

pandmaster

Quote from: ozbob on May 08, 2014, 13:40:52 PM
No doubt that both the Inlander and Westlander will cease later this year I expect.

Such a shame. Mount Isa is big enough to support several freight wagons coupled on to the Inlander. The number of trucks along the Warrego would surely justify the freight component of the Westlander too.

ozbob

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ozbob

Bit of history.  Prior to 2011 the freight wagons on the trains was regular and provided an excellent service.  After the 2011 floods the freight service was not reinstated. This was due to the breakup of QR to passenger and freight.  As part of the setup of QR National, QR Passenger was prohibited to run freight.  The wagons used for the freight services on the passenger trains were cut up in spite by QR National as well. 

I travelled to Charleville on the Westlander in 2012.   I did radio media and spoke to a number of residents of Charleville.  They were all extremely upset with the loss of the rail freight services.  The passenger service was clockwork, regular.  They knew when their freight was coming.  There was no damage to the goods.  After the rail freight was stopped, the businesses complained that shipments were then very irregular, and in many cases lots of damage to the goods.  A major electrical retailer in Charleville said that some shipments up to 25 % or so of goods damaged, something that did not occur with the rail service.  There was also widespread concern in the district with the ever worsening damage to the road network and the sheer danger of the many road trucks.

I have been advised that the freight service on the Westlander was very cost effective and made the service a lot more economically sustainable.  I am not sure on this point for the Inlander, although would have been similarly effective I would expect.

Sadly, both the Westlander and Inlander will be consigned to history shortly.  Bad politics, bad policies and crappy rail operators all have pushed this along. 

Long live the Westy!
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Stillwater

That Charleville retailer cannot promise his customers which day of the week the fridge or the stove they have ordered will be coming on a truck.  He knew almost to the hour when the goods were going to arrive by train, undamaged.  That man employs one person to unpack and then pack again the damaged goods and sort out warranties and replacement goods for customers.  That person's wage is an added cost to his business.

mufreight

Apparently there is nothing now stopping Queensland Rail from hauling freight other than a lack of rollingstock and motivation
QR have locos of their own and the western end of the yard at Wacol would provide an effective loading point from road.
If the Westie were to be re timetabled so it had about a 3.30pm departure from Roma Street it could attach freight from Wacol on the outbound journey and still clear the metropolitan area well before the start of the peak, the rollingstock required would be minimal with container flats possibly the best option.
All that is needed is the motivation but such a move would probably ensure the survival of the Westie and it would seem that the present government does not want that outcome.

ozbob

Andrew Korner of the Queensland times, nails it ...

Queensland Times 24th May 2014 page 11

A bit rich .. CEO Paid millions

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#35
Rates of pay are set at a level high enough to prevent a person from being snatched by the competition. This is the driving force behind pay, not moral judgements about who "deserves" something.

The net profit after tax was $487 million (full year, 2013, so the CEOs pay is ($6.1 million / $487) x 100) = 1.25% of profits. The pay needs to be approved by the board. Either the board is irrational or they have very good reasons for paying that much.

$230 million of efficiencies and cost savings have already been realised.

Profits and Losses form a feedback system which tells companies whether they are doing badly or well.
The fact that the company has increasing profits shows that it is moving in the right direction.
Profits are not guaranteed and bad management can break an entire company. Just ask QANTAS.

http://www.aurizon.com.au/Downloads/Aurizon%20Media%20Release%202013.pdf
http://www.aurizon.com.au/Downloads/Aurizon%20Annual%20Report%202013.pdf

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ozbob

Aurizon is well on the way to becoming one of the most despised rail operators in the nation IMHO ...

Meanwhile ...

Queensland Times --> Choat furious over Aurizon's plan to close rail workshops

QuoteA CALL has gone out from Ipswich West MP Sean Choat for a new company to set up a railway workshop at Redbank.

The QT reported earlier this month that freight company Aurizon would close its Redbank workshops permanently in 2017, leaving hundreds of workers jobless.

The winding down will begin next month with 42 staff to be axed before more follow next June when Aurizon's QR maintenance contract expires.

But Mr Choat insists that there is scope for another company to come in and do the job.

"Over 50% of the work Aurizon do at Redbank is on behalf of Queensland Rail. They have the contract to maintain their rolling stock," Mr Choat said.

"So I am asking what other companies are out there who might like to come and take advantage, because our city would love to host you.

"Aurizon is pulling out, but I want someone else to come in to take their place.

"It is still cold comfort, but we are going to have a new Wulkuraka rail facility that will keep this strong rail presence in the region.

About 450 Redbank staff face either moving to Rockhampton or losing their jobs.

"I am absolutely furious about it," Mr Choat said.

"I was given an assurance by Aurizon in 2012 that they would continue their interest at Redbank, Rockhampton and Townsville.

"But they have gone back on that and it is an absolute disgrace. There are over 40 voluntary redundancies on the table now, but I have spoken to Aurizon and there are 450 people employed there.

" There will be a phasing down of operations there over the last three years, but they have assured me that their apprentices will all be carried through on their training contracts.

"So no apprentice will be out of work and will get to finish their trade - which is small comfort, I guess."
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^ part of the reason for Mr Choat's sudden interest in Redbank is that he has gone out on a limb at Wulkuraka.  Myself and others suggested that Redbank might be an option for this ' Wulkuraka facility '  but this was dismissed, I guess because Aurizon had made committments re Redbank.  I always felt that there was more than enough room at Redbank for both Aurizon (as it was) and Wulkuraka NGR facility.  It is a massive area, you should go and have a look if you haven't been there.

:hc
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