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Friday, November 18, 2005

Ministers consider Pacific National's funding request.

Ministers consider Pacific National's funding request. 18/11/2005. ABC News Online

Tasmania's Transport Minister is cautious about committing to a bail out of the state's rail operator, Pacific National.

Transport ministers from around Australia met in Hobart this morning.

Tasmania's Bryan Green met privately with his federal counterpart Warren Truss.

Pacific National's request for funding to help upgrade the state's rail infrastructure was on the agenda.

Mr Green says the governments are still awaiting the outcome of a review into the viability of the rail network.

He says the impact of any cash injection needs to be considered in light of a hostile takeover bid involving Pacific National's owners Toll Holdings and Patrick Corp.

"What happens if Pacific National is sold as a result of the ACCC's intervention? I mean, all of a sudden their liabilities are gone in Tasmania as a result of a decision to put $118 million into it in the next 10 years, which makes the sale price for them look very attractive," he said.

"So effectively we'd be putting money in the back pocket of Pacific National."

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