Draft Decision - 2014 Draft Access Undertaking

Draft Decision - 2014 Draft Access Undertaking

30 Jan 2015

Rail MEDIA RELEASE

The Queensland Competition Authority (QCA) today issued a draft decision on Aurizon Network’s 2014 Draft Access Undertaking (2014 DAU).

In the 2014 DAU, Aurizon Network proposes significant changes to the access arrangements for the Central Queensland Coal Network (CQCN). As the responsible regulator, the QCA must assess whether the proposed changes satisfy the requirements of Queensland's access regime.

"The 2014 DAU has been the focus of exhaustive stakeholder consultations since April 2013.  The QCA has welcomed the collaborative approach shown by stakeholders.  Clearly, all parties have a common interest in enhancing the efficiency of the industry's supply chain, especially in the current economic conditions. 

"The draft decision released today is our assessment of Aurizon Network's proposed undertaking," said QCA Chairman Malcolm Roberts.

"Our draft decision is to not accept the 2014 DAU as proposed. We are releasing a set of amendments, which we believe strike a better balance between the interests of Aurizon Network and its customers.  Our amendments are intended to make the access regime more transparent and, wherever possible, simpler.

"In particular, we wish to improve the information flow to users of the network.  The QCA is proposing more regular reporting on key issues such as network planning, capacity and maintenance.  Greater transparency will support more efficient use of the network and ensure timely investment in new capacity. 

"The 2014 DAU includes a new process for network expansions, and new tariffs, reflecting consultation between Aurizon Network and its customers. The QCA encourages the parties to continue to work cooperatively on these issues.

"In our draft decision, we identify opportunities to simplify access arrangements, both for the 2014 DAU and for future agreements. Making access arrangements less complex should immediately improve supply chain responsiveness and, ultimately, the cost effectiveness of below-rail services for the CQCN,” Malcolm Roberts said. 

"Releasing a draft decision provides the opportunity to enhance the quality of our public consultations, and ultimately the quality of our final decision. It allows all parties to rigorously test our analysis and, where relevant, provide additional information on contested points," Malcolm Roberts said. 

The draft decision is available at: www.qca.org.au/Rail/Aurizon

Submissions on the draft decision close on 17 April 2015.


BACKGROUND

This draft decision deals with all matters relevant to the 2014 DAU excluding those already addressed as part of our MAR draft decision, released in September 2014.

Aurizon Network's 2010 Access Undertaking governs third-party access to the declared rail transport infrastructure in the central Queensland Coal Network and is known as the UT3. When, ultimately, we accept Aurizon Network’s 2014 DAU, the new undertaking will be known as the UT4. 

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