QR infrastructure investment triples

QR’s rail network business Network Access has more than tripled investment in infrastructure in three years and plans to deliver over $8 billion worth of new infrastructure across Queensland.

QR Network Access Group General Manager Michael Carter told the Infrastructure Association of Queensland that the business was experiencing its largest period of growth ever.

“In the past three years, our infrastructure investment program has more than tripled from $300 million to $1 billion,” Carter says.

“This has occurred under two major infrastructure development programs — Queensland Government-funded SEQIPRAIL for projects in the South East Queensland passenger market, and COALRAIL, which is the focus of our investments in the Central Queensland coal region.

“Across the entire QR network we presently have development contracts with 73 different companies, valued at $875 million,” he says.

Mr Carter says Queensland was on the leading edge of an explosion in infrastructure development driven by economic growth.

He acknowledged Access Economics’ September Investment Monitor report showing Queensland was at the forefront of $357 billion worth of national investment projects with more than $121 billion worth of major projects.

“Today QR Network Access has a strong focus on South East Queensland and Central Queensland coal where there is huge demand and significant opportunity for growth,” Carter says.

“We are also reviewing the growth potential in the state’s North West minerals province and the Mt Isa rail system.”

Mr Carter says “huge opportunity” also exists for intermodal containerised freight, which was forecast to double by 2020.

“Our aim is to attract the largest share of the land transport task to rail, and to be an integral part of our customers’ success,” he says.

“We strive to deliver a safe, reliable, efficient and sustainable network that facilitates economic growth for our customers and an appropriate return to our owners, the Queensland Government.”

Mr Carter says a “best for project” approach on new infrastructure developments targeted scope and timeliness for customers with a competitive cost outcome amid a heated market.

“Often this means using alliances, where we combine our rail expertise with knowledgeable partners in the construction industry,” he says.

“To date, this approach, as well as direct contracting, has enabled us to deliver our infrastructure program on time and on budget.

“For QR Network Access, building relationships is the key to enhancing cooperation and improving collaboration with our customers – that is how we understand their challenges, markets and needs and how we can work together to deliver success for us all.”

QR Network Access manages access to QR’s rail network, maintains the track assets and delivers new infrastructure on the network.

QR Network Access has two infrastructure programs.

SEQIPRAIL is delivering a $7 billion, 20-year infrastructure plan for the Queensland government, which includes 28 projects that will add 144 kilometres of new track to the passenger network across South East Queensland.

COALRAIL is delivering new assets for customers on the central Queensland coal network. The current projects, valued at about $1 billion, are based on the Coal Rail Infrastructure Master Plan.

This plan has been agreed to by all members of the supply chain and defines capital investment projects designed to meet increasing capacity requirements on the coal network.

Significant opportunities exist beyond the current investment projects as new mines and production are brought on line.

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