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Thursday, January 19, 2006

Tassie plays a role in Toll ban

The Mercury: Tassie plays a role in Toll ban [20jan06]: "A $78 million rescue offer from the Federal Government to pay for the cost of a massive track upgrade, conditional on Pacific National agreeing to several operating conditions and buying new rolling stock, has not received a response from the company.

Kylie Butler, spokeswoman for federal Transport minister Warren Truss, said yesterday the Federal Government wanted to secure the future of Tasmania's rail services as soon as possible.

She said officers from both the federal and state transport and infrastructure departments had met with Pacific National on Tuesday in Melbourne, which suggested progress was being made.

The ACCC's report also raised the future of Bass Strait shipping and Tasmanian freight forwarding as being one of the three main impediments to a Toll-Patrick merger.

Mr Samuel said despite promises by Toll that it would sell Patrick's daily Bass Strait commercial shipping business in the event of a successful takeover, he remained concerned that significant competition on the route would be nearly impossible to achieve.

State Infrastructure minister Bryan Green said such a conclusion by the ACCC had formed the basis of the Tasmanian Government's submission to Mr Samuel's inquiry."

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