Started by Fares_Fair, November 23, 2011, 10:58:45 AM
BREAKING: Aurizon workers in Rockhampton are protesting, after it was announced their jobs may be cut by 2018. @7NewsCQ pic.twitter.com/xDEGoAUSV6— Georgia Done (@GeorgiaDone7) June 1, 2017
BREAKING: Aurizon workers in Rockhampton are protesting, after it was announced their jobs may be cut by 2018. @7NewsCQ pic.twitter.com/xDEGoAUSV6
Premier @AnnastaciaMP says she's 'disgusted' at plans to axe almost 400 rail jobs in Central Queensland. #7News pic.twitter.com/gP5rIAINjs— 7 News Queensland (@7NewsQueensland) June 2, 2017
Premier @AnnastaciaMP says she's 'disgusted' at plans to axe almost 400 rail jobs in Central Queensland. #7News pic.twitter.com/gP5rIAINjs
QuoteLack of investment in the State-funded NCL and massive investment in the Bruce Highway (80 per cent of construction costs paid for by the federal government) means that costs less to move most non-bulk goods by road, as opposed to rail, south of Mackay.
Quote from: Stillwater on June 03, 2017, 06:24:52 AMLack of investment in the State-funded NCL and massive investment in the Bruce Highway (80 per cent of construction costs paid for by the federal government) means that costs less to move most non-bulk goods by road, as opposed to rail, south of Mackay.
QuoteA LONG-TIME Bluff resident says the small mining town in Central Queensland will never die despite recent job cuts.Rail giant Aurizon announced 29 jobs to be slashed in the town, as part of over 300 to go in CQ including at Rockhampton, Gladstone and Stanwell depots.The resident, who wishes to not be named due to connections with Aurizon, said unless they bring in remote control trains, the Bluff depot would always need a local workforce present.WATCH: Rail giant to close Rocky workshop, 180+ jobs axed."This will not be the end of Bluff," the resident said."There will always be a need for a changing depot here. They would need to have new trains that run themselves in order to shut this depot."Whether it will affect stores or not we don't know. The railway can't run without the guys, they work on their days off already."We don't understand the cuts at all." The resident did say the mood was grim in town.Anxious workers were waiting nervously until the end of the week when redundancy letters were expected to be handed out."It is all still a bit uncertain at the moment," the resident said."Nobody quite knows who is going and who is not.Aurizon has asked for expressions of interest for redundancies but the letters were supposed to come out Thursday.The resident said they only knew of a handful of people were thinking of taking the voluntary redundancy."It is scary. People are waiting to get the tap on the shoulder." Since the resident's family arrived in Bluff some three decades or more ago, the town was vastly different.Bluff State School was thriving with 144 kids at the school. Today, there are 16.The resident, while concerned for the workers awaiting their fate, said the town will kick on and survive.An Aurizon spokesperson said they "appreciate the changes to its operations are difficult for those affected"."We have engaged with community leaders and stakeholders on the changes, and confirmed that Aurizon will continue to have a presence in the Bluff community," the spokesperson said."Following the proposed changes, we will still employ more than 2,000 people across Central Queensland (Gladstone to Mackay and west). Aurizon will work closely with individuals as the phased changes are implemented through to mid-2018."
QuoteRAIL giant Aurizon will offload its general freight business including its Acacia Ridge intermodal terminal after announcing a $188 million loss for the past year.The Brisbane-based company on Monday said continuing losses at its intermodal freight business and the impact of Cyclone Debbie on its coal network had hit its bottom line.Revenue had flat-lined at $3.45 billion for the year after a shutdown of the Queensland coal network in Queensland following Cyclone Debbie.Aurizon chief executive Andrew Harding said the Queensland intermodal business would be purchased by a consortium of Linfox and Pacific National for about $220 million after racking up losses over several years.The intermodal terminal at Acacia Ridge will be sold in a separate transaction to Pacific National while the intermodal business outside of Queensland would be closed."The intermodal business was not a sustainable business for our shareholders or employees," said Mr Harding.
QuoteAurizon will sell its Queensland Intermodal business to a consortium of Pacific National and Linfox for a combined value of $220 million, and close its intermodal sites outside of Queensland, as a result of a twelve-month review of the company's freight business.Aurizon managing director and chief executive Andrew Harding announced the outcomes of the review during the company's annual report on Monday.Aurizon finished with a $188 million loss in FY17, after taking significant impairments."My aim is to take decisive action, no matter how unpopular or difficult those decisions those decisions may be," Harding said."In making the decision to exit, we considered the significant financial losses that have been sustained year on year by Aurizon Intermodal. The business has not been able to establish significant scale and a customer base to support a profitable business in such a highly competitive market."The Queensland Intermodal business – including 350 employee positions, assets, and commercial and operational agreements – and the Acacia Ridge Intermodal Terminal south of Brisbane, will be sold off to the consortium in two separate transactions. The Acacia Ridge terminal is a 66-hectare site which includes narrow-gauge and standard gauge freight terminals, marshalling yards and warehousing.At this stage the sale is a binding agreement between the sides. It will be subject to approval by the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission, and the Foreign Investment Review Board.Harding said the additional closure of Aurizon's intermodal terminals outside of Queensland would affect roughly 250 jobs.Aurizon's Interstate Intermodal business includes freight terminals at Forrestfield, Perth (freehold), Enfield, and Sydney (lease), along with locomotives, wagons and road vehicles. It also includes the import-export service between Enfield and Port Botany."The transaction and the shutdown actions are necessary given the history of significant losses to the business, the long-term industry sector attractiveness, and my view that in this industry sector we lack some fundamental characteristics for success," Harding said.The former Rio Tinto iron ore boss said his recent arrival at Aurizon provided him with a "fresh set of eyes" with which to consider Aurizon's Intermodal business."The Intermodal business has made a loss in all but three of the last ten years," he said. "The last two years, were the first- and third-largest loss years."The market conditions are also not favourable. Market volume growth is forecast to be sub-GDP, and the long-term dynamics are shifting to shorter hauls, favouring road transport, as Australian manufacturing volumes are replaced by imported volumes."In addition to a poor market outlook, Harding was not optimistic about Aurizon's chances of success in the competitive interstate market."Outside of Queensland, Aurizon lacks scale and is third in the east-west corridor, which is the largest profit pool," he said. "Aurizon has considerable skills in bulk haulage and below rail operations, however it has huge capability gaps in trucking and logistics systems."Ultimately, the former mining boss said the decision was not a "complex" one."I do not consider it practical to turn the business around," he said. "I need to pursue the next-best alternative."Pacific National is in a good position to buy the Aurizon Intermodal business, thanks to reported support from its major international backers, who have owned the business since the breakup of Asciano in 2016. PN's chairman Russell Smith is among the partners of Global Infrastructure Partners, which holds a 27% share in PN.According to an AFR report, Aurizon's market testing also attracted interest from Qube Holdings and SCT Logistics.
Quote from: ozbob on August 19, 2017, 12:17:51 PMYes HTG, this has grave implications for freight rail in Queensland.As I understand it Aurizon will cease all cattle and other freight. Unless the Government awards contracts to other willing operator, this could mean eventually the end of Thallon, Wallangarra, Emerald-Winton and Miles-Charleville (and Quilpie) operations. Also the possible demise of the Inlander and Westlander?I expect that politics may well see further contracts awarded if rail operators can be found.There will not be much left of a once great rail network throughout Queensland way things are going.
QuoteAURIZON will sell its Queensland section of its rail and road freight transportation business to Pacific National and Linfox. State MP Rob Katter said that the company had assured him that the jobs in the sold section would be carried over in the transfer. "So it is hard to see what the impacts are going to be for the west at this point," Mr Katter said. Mount Isa Mines might have been affected by the transfer but Aurizon had lost the contract with the mining company last year. It is understood another North West Qld industry contracts Aurizon in the affected section of the company. "I have already ensured Cloncurry mayor Greg Campbell is across these changes because Cloncurry has traditionally been the bigger hub for Aurizon workers," Mr Katter said. "This is an opportunity to turn the spotlight on how the rail line and operators have been managed in 10 to 20 years and if it has delivered, and I do not think it has since it privatised. "This is the main suppliers exiting the market when one of the main drivers for privatisation was to create competition in the market. "Isn't it time the government stopped and considered how they managed their utilities?" Cloncurry mayor Greg Campbell was reached for comment. In July the shire councillors had adjusted its annual operational plan to support its locally based rail workers. Aurizon also sells its Acacia Ridge terminal to Pacific National. The total value of the sale was worth $220 million. It closes its other freight business based outside of Queensland which affects up to 250 jobs. It is understood the transition will mean that 380 staff will be transferred from Aurizon to these companies. Aurizon chairman Tim Poole said in the company's financial report released on Monday that the sale was due to continued losses. The sale of its Intermodal business would be used for other profitable parts of the company, Mr Poole said. "The exit will allow Aurizon to focus on creating shareholder value through its core strengths and capabilities of heavy rail haulage operations and rail infrastructure management." Queensland Labor Senators Anthony Chisholm and Murray Watt said that Aurizon needed to confirm its long term commitment to Queensland following the company announcement. The announcement was concerning for workers and the broader freight network."The company have also indicated that they intend to hand back the Regional Freight Transport Services contract at the end of the year," the two Senators said in a joint statement."Should another operator not be found, this will potentially add hundreds of trucks to the Bruce Highway and regional roads across the state."
Quote from: HappyTrainGuy on August 24, 2017, 01:36:57 AMI still see red about the split. Such a bullsh%t excuse for doing it and all reasons for doing it haven't come..... Just a total load of bs to what was once a great and powerful railway operator.
Quote from: ozbob on August 24, 2017, 02:20:55 AMQuote from: HappyTrainGuy on August 24, 2017, 01:36:57 AMI still see red about the split. Such a bullsh%t excuse for doing it and all reasons for doing it haven't come..... Just a total load of bs to what was once a great and powerful railway operator.+1 a tragedy for Queensland ...
Quote from: HappyTrainGuy on August 24, 2017, 11:14:47 AMQuote from: ozbob on August 24, 2017, 02:20:55 AMQuote from: HappyTrainGuy on August 24, 2017, 01:36:57 AMI still see red about the split. Such a bullsh%t excuse for doing it and all reasons for doing it haven't come..... Just a total load of bs to what was once a great and powerful railway operator.+1 a tragedy for Queensland ...Random side projects.
Quote from: red dragin on August 24, 2017, 12:06:58 PMQuote from: HappyTrainGuy on August 24, 2017, 11:14:47 AMQuote from: ozbob on August 24, 2017, 02:20:55 AMQuote from: HappyTrainGuy on August 24, 2017, 01:36:57 AMI still see red about the split. Such a bullsh%t excuse for doing it and all reasons for doing it haven't come..... Just a total load of bs to what was once a great and powerful railway operator.+1 a tragedy for Queensland ...Random side projects.Apparently it was the go to place for a box trailer back in the day....
QuoteTHE $7 billion coal export industry to Japan is under threat with the nation's consul general expressing concern and steel producers telling the Palaszczuk Government they may need to look elsewhere for supply.The dispute, sparked by a Queensland Competition Authority draft ruling over maintenance of the Central Queensland coal network track, is threatening to cloud this week's trade mission to Japan by Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk.Aurizon's reaction to the draft ruling has the potential to wipe $4 billion from the state's coal exports and slash $500 million in government royalties, adding to other major economic concerns, such as expected cuts of hundreds of millions of dollars in GST revenue from the Federal Government.The Courier-Mail has learned that Japan's Consul General Keiko Yanai's recently expressed official concern to the Government about the reliability of Queensland to supply billions of dollars worth of coal to the Japanese steel mills.A letter to the Government from Nippon Steel also said the company had serious concerns about supply and that Aurizon had ignored expectations of Japanese buyers which may force them to look elsewhere for coal.Some of the world's biggest mining companies also wrote to Aurizon last week, threatening legal action if the dispute continued, whereas Aurizon maintains it has had no choice but to act.Treasurer Jackie Trad has reassured Ms Yanai that the issue would be resolved."We don't think this is going to be a significant issue for the Queensland economy and we think both sides will co-operate,'' Ms Trad said.Queensland Resources Council chief executive Ian Macfarlane said the coal industry, the Queensland Government, Japanese steel makers, Aurizon staff and investors were all scratching their head about the actions of Aurizon chief executive Andrew Harding."Japan is Queensland's second largest export market and it has been a key partner for our state's resources industry for more than half a century, a key customer and investor,'' Mr Macfarlane said."At a time when the industry and the Queensland Government is striving to increase exports and jobs, Aurizon is actively working against our efforts. Aurizon and Andrew Harding are working against Queensland.''But Aurizon said the QRC should stop playing politics and start helping to resolve the issue.A company spokesman said Aurizon was aware of the Nippon Steel concerns and had briefed Japan's steel and power industry representatives.A spokesman said the Japanese had been told the changes could not be delayed because the QCA decision would be backdated to July 2017, when a final decision is made."If we didn't implement these changes to align to the QCA draft decision, it could potentially cost Aurizon hundreds of millions of dollars,'' the spokesman said."We urge the QRC to stop playing politics, get on with their job and help industry work towards a solution.''
QuoteTHE current schism between monopoly coal freight operator Aurizon and mining companies is not an entirely unique scenario.Nor is the concern being expressed by Japanese steel producers over the imbroglio.A decade ago pictures of dozens of ships anchored off central Queensland ports were frequently published in this newspaper, demonstrating the capacity constraints that were crippling the coal supply chain and damaging the state's reputation as a reliable resource trader.That impasse culminated in then premier Anna Bligh wining and dining five of Japan's biggest steel producers, who represented 10 per cent of Queensland merchandise exports, at famed chef Hiroyuki Sakai's restaurant La Rochelle in downtown Tokyo in an effort to ensure them the situation would be resolved.That episode in 2008 is instructive for those who immediately leap to the conclusion that private ownership is now the issue and that continued public possession of the rail infrastructure would have prevented this problem occurring.It would not have.However, while the particulars differ, the effect is much the same with consumers of Queensland's high quality coal demanding action so they can have much greater faith in supply.Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk will this week act as the state's top envoy to reassure Japan that the issue will be resolved.She will meet with Japan Foreign Affairs Minister Taro Kono on a whistlestop tour before venturing once again to the US.Ms Palaszczuk and Treasurer Jackie Trad have also warned Aurizon and regulator, the Queensland Competition Authority, of the need to resolve this issue quickly.With legal proceeding afoot, this is probably the most the Palaszczuk Government can do currently apart from some verbal arm twisting.But it would be prudent of the administration to start working on a "Plan B" if negotiations drag on.The genesis of this deadlock is a draft QCA decision in December that would allow Aurizon to earn $3.9 billion from its Queensland coal network business between July 2017 and June 2021.This is nearly $1 billion less than Aurizon is convinced it should make.The company has accused the regulator of not operating in the "real world" with its decision.In a high stakes act of brinkmanship, Aurizon has imposed immediate changes to its maintenance schedule on the central Queensland coal network, choking the system and delaying mines getting their product to port.The Queensland Resources Council has calculated out the impact on royalties, claiming Treasury's coffers stand to be $2 billion worse off over the life of the QCA decision if Aurizon's restricted use of its network continues unabated.While it is hard to fathom that this deadlock will continue for four years, it does underscore the cost that will be incurred by every Queenslander if it is not resolved.Queensland has been a reliable resources trading partner for decades so the Japanese should grant this state and its miners a degree of latitude while this issue gets resolved.However, the fact Japan remains Queensland's second biggest trading partner also means the Palaszczuk Government is encumbered with the responsibility to ensure this dispute doesn't drag on.Queensland's merchandise exports to Japan surpassed $10 billion in 2016-17, which represented almost 16 per cent of our international trade.Nearly half this was coal products.Queensland's reputation as a trader can certainly sustain a brief dispute between a regulator and coal freight company.However, the costs in both monetary and reputation terms will become substantial if this fight is allowed to drag on.
QuoteAURIZON'S bad run has continued with the loss of a major grain haulage contract.As the freight company continues to deal with the fallout from its strategy on the central Queensland coal network, it was also this week advised by GrainCorp that it would not renew its contract."GrainCorp has advised Aurizon that it has committed their Queensland grain haulage volumes to another carrier at the expiration of Aurizon's current contract in November 2019."Aurizon provided a highly-competitive offer to GrainCorp to continue hauling their grain task from central-west and southwest Queensland."As a valued customer, we remain focused on safety and customer service in the delivery of GrainCorp's product for the remainder of the contract period."Aurizon hauled about 750,000 tonnes for GrainCorp in 2016/17, but it has been a lower harvest this year.It follows a report released by the Queensland Competition Authority in which it distanced itself from Aurizon's strategy on the central Queensland coal network.Aurizon has maintained that its strategy, to effectively reduce the number of trains that can get to port through changes to its maintenance schedule, was in response to a draft decision by the QCA.But QCA said that it did not prescribe that Aurizon Network change its maintenance program, or the operations of its maintenance practices.It also said it did not agree with Aurizon's characterisation that the QCA would not revisit issues if new information became available.Aurizon's changes could cost the coal industry about $4 billion a year, but Aurizon has said it has no option because the QCA ruling has slashed about $1 billion from its revenue on the Central Queensland coal network and that a final ruling from the QCA would be backdated to July 2017.
QuoteAURIZON has made another submission to the Queensland Competition Authority in the drawn-out fight with coal miners over what it can earn on the central Queensland coal network.The company's submission remains the same but it said the maintenance issue that has created the furore with miners was not the only consideration.Aurizon has radically changed its maintenance on the network with the effect of reducing the number of trains that can reach the port, thereby cutting exports by 20 million tonnes.It said there were other significant factors, including the return on capital the QAC has mandated in its draft decision, which was well below the rate Aurizon says it needs."This has been our consistent view to the regulator and to industry. Any meaningful discussion on a commercially-sustainable solution for (the undertaking) must include investment returns and risk profile, operating and maintenance practices,'' the company said."Maintenance is inextricably linked to investment in the rail network assets and the manner the network is operated. Maintenance is dependent on the extent of investment – lesser investment will generally result in a less reliable asset, with any required level of reliability necessarily having to be supported by a need to undertake increased maintenance. ''
QuoteJAPAN'S steelmakers have complained that they continue to be annoyed and frustrated by the continuing Aurizon dispute which threatens the $7 billion trade.The Queensland Resources Council said it met with one of the steelmakers yesterday as the potential cost of the dispute to State Government's royalties blows out by more than $100 million as coal prices grow well above forecasts.A peace offering from Aurizon of a 10-week moratorium on its controversial maintenance changes was rejected by the industry and a meeting with the State Government to try to resolve the dispute also appears to have failed.The brawl started when Aurizon implemented major changes to the maintenance of its central Queensland coal network, claiming the decision to do so was forced on it by a Queensland Competition Authority draft decision on how much it could earn from the monopoly track which was $1 billion less that it wanted.The industry appeared to give some room on Monday when QRC chief executive Ian Macfarlane said that if Aurizon resumed its normal maintenance practices immediately and maintained that until the QCA made a final decision then the coal industry would be prepared to discuss presenting a united position to the Queensland Competition Authority.The coal producers have been angered by Aurizon's attempts to go outside the QCA system and attempt to negotiate with companies independently.Aurizon said it's open to a discussion but it has to be about all issues including the rate of return it can have on the track.The QRC confirmed it had met with one of the steelmakers which had also voiced its concerns to Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk on her trade mission to Japan last month."The industry appreciated the efforts of the Premier to try to reassure steelmakers when she visited Tokyo late last month. However, Aurizon have persisted with its threats," QRC chief executive Ian Macfarlane said."Aurizon have maintained a pig headed position since. Instead of offering olive branches, all the coal industry has had is the stick from Aurizon."Aurizon's treatment of its customers would make Basil Fawlty blush."QRC estimates the cost of Aurizon's new maintenance plan, which they say will choke off as much as 20 million tonnes of exports a year, would cost up to $4 billion per annum in lost Queensland exports and up to $500 million in lost royalties which pay for the wages of teachers, nurses and police."Queensland simply can't afford to keep paying the price of Aurizon's intransigence," Mr Macfarlane said.The QRC estimates that at the current price for coking coal of $US200 a tonne and the exchange rate the dispute has added an extra $118 million to the previous $500 million in forecast losses.The State Government has said it doesn't believe the dispute will be as bad as predicted while Aurizon said yesterday its forecast of lost export volumes of 20 million tonnes from the maintenance changes would likely be in foregone sales rather than a reduction in previous totals.
QuoteSOME of the biggest mining companies in the world have joined forces to oppose rail freight operator Aurizon in court, in an increasingly bitter industry brawl.The 10 coal companies, including BHP, Glencore, Peabody and Anglo American, have banded together to fight alongside the Queensland Competition Authority in a case brought by Aurizon in which they accuse the then QCA chairman Roy Green of apprehended bias.The strategy adds to the crisis in the coal industry, which is attempting to stop Aurizon from permanently adopting maintenance changes on the central Queensland coal network that will slash as much as $4 billion from coal exports.The move comes as a report from UK market analyst Wood Mackenzie says Australia is on a path to losing up to $2 billion already this year because of issues that include the Aurizon dispute.As about 30 ships back up at the Dalrymple Bay coal port in central Queensland, the report from Wood Mackenzie predicts the Aurizon dispute will last until September at least.The issue arose in February when the QCA made a draft decision relating to how much Aurizon could earn from the monopoly it holds over the central Queensland rail network.It was $1 billion less than what Aurizon wanted, so it cut back its maintenance as a cost-saving measure.But just days after making that draft decision, Professor Green announced he would be leaving the QCA to join the Port of Newcastle, which is considered a competitor to Aurizon. That sparked the allegation of apprehended bias.In advertisements in Wednesday's The Courier-Mail, the message from the 10 coal companies to Aurizon is they are damaging the reputation of Queensland's largest export industry.Japanese steel companies that buy Queensland's coking coal have expressed frustration over the dispute and some have warned they will go elsewhere to buy coal.
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