The Queensland Competition Authority regulates below-rail (track) services in Queensland provided by two major operators:
- Aurizon Network Pty Ltd (Aurizon Network), which operates the below-rail coal network in central Queensland and is a wholly owned subsidiary of Aurizon Holdings Ltd More; and
- Queensland Rail Ltd (QRail), which operates the state's below-rail network outside central Queensland. More
The two businesses were separated on 30 June 2010, when the Queensland Government split the former Government-owned QR Ltd in preparation for the sale and public float of Aurizon Holdings (then known as QR National) on 22 November 2010. QRail remains a Government-owned corporation.
Both rail companies must allow other train operators to use their intrastate rail infrastructure in accordance with access undertakings approved by the Queensland Competition Authority, which set out general terms and conditions for the negotiation of access arrangements. Aurizon Network's undertaking also contains reference tariffs for coal train services in central Queensland. QRail's undertaking contains reference tariffs for coal train services on the western system.
The Authority's responsibilities in relation to the Rail industry are to:
- assess and approve third-party access undertakings to Queensland's intrastate rail network;
- arbitrate access disputes;
- enforce breaches of access obligations; and
- assess competitive neutrality.
The main sources of rail industry regulation in Queensland, as relevant to the role of the Queensland Competition Authority in the rail sector, are:
The Transport Infrastructure Act 1994 regulates, among other things:
- safety accreditation;
- rail transport infrastructure powers;
- railway incidents; and
- rail corridors.
The Authority's responsibilities encompass the following rail issues: