South Australian transport entrepreneur Allan Scott is eyeing the Adelaide-Darwin rail line, which has been put up for sale by FreightLink, with Paul Little’s Toll Holdings expected to join the party.
According to an ABC report, founder of Scott’s Transport has expressed his interest in operating the rail freight service, adding the rail corridor needs improvement in infrastructure to hand heavy freight.
“I think it’s an investment – we’re the biggest users of it and Toll [Holdings] are next, so what do we do?” he said.
“You know we can’t afford to lose it, we can’t afford to have it closed down and the banks are starting to call up the money, so something has to be done.”
While Freightlink has recently increased the number of weekly freight services to Darwin, the operator has been making losses.
Mr Scott, however, stressed the rail service should continue to operate to sustain a number of industries.
“A lot of our industry and a lot of our produce goes up on that rail and a lot of stuff from Melbourne goes on that rail, so it’s very important that it be kept going.”
SA agriculture minister Rory McEwen welcomed Mr Scott’s interest, saying it would provide the state’s industry with a significant boost.
“Mr Scott’s obviously a very experienced and successful freight operator in all its forms. He’s proved that around Australia and built a magnificent transport industry…based in Mt Gambier,” he said.
“To add a railway line to that would be a great part of his vision.”
Toll Holdings would partner Scott Group in a bid to buy FreightLink, a Toll spokesman also confirmed today.