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Monday, December 19, 2005

Railway rescue package on hold

The Mercury: Railway rescue package on hold [20dec05]

RAIL operator Pacific National is unlikely to consider a $118 million federal and state government rescue packages for Tasmanian rail services until February.

The Pacific National board met for five minutes in Sydney yesterday to consider a Patrick Corporation resolution that Pacific National commence a $500 million claim against Toll Holdings over Queensland rail operations.

The resolution was voted down and Tasmanian rail services were not considered.

PN decided early this year to shut down operations between Hobart and Burnie and Bell Bay and needs a board meeting to reverse the decision.

Meanwhile, the federal and state governments' rescue package for Tasmanian rail has won the conditional approval of Toll Holdings.

Subject to examination of points of detail the proposed package can provide the means to upgrade Tasmania's rail network in ways that can secure the survival of competitive rail transport in Tasmania," a Toll spokesman said.

Toll Holdings has made a $4.6 billion takeover offer for Patrick, sparking a war of words and mass departures from PN.



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