Townsville-Mt Isa Rail Line
The Townsville – Mount Isa rail line (Great Northern Railway) is a key piece of infrastructure. It provides mining and agricultural producers in North West Queensland access to domestic and international markets.
Queensland Rail (QR) operates the line and Queensland Competition Authority regulates it.
The goods transported on the line stimulate significant flow on economic activity on the east coast, including through the Townsville port.
Rail line users have faced massive price increases and access issues. This is due to Queensland government imposing an unnecessarily complex and unbalanced pricing and access regime.
Because of this, the line is now underutilised, and businesses are putting their freight on the Flinders Highway instead. This is creating road safety and maintenance issues.
Usage charges and access arrangements must encourage more rail line usage. The Queensland Competition Authority needs to implement a pricing framework that makes rail line usage a viable option for business.