The move establishes a central logistics group responsible for the planning and coordination of ship movements, port activities, rail delivery and overall chain capacity to streamline the transport of 80 million tonnes of coal to the port of Newcastle.
Since the 1993 trial of the HVCCLT, coal chain capacity has increased by 20% from 69Mt per annum to about 81Mt in 2005. This was achieved without spending significant amounts of money on improving infrastructure.
The group includes rail operators, Pacific National and QRNational, Port Waratah Coal Services, the Australian Rail Track Corporation, Rail Infrastructure Corporation and Rail Corp, and the Newcastle Port Corporation.
A Memorandum of Understanding was signed by the operators and state and federal representatives including retiring deputy prime minister and minister for transport and regional services John Anderson.
Anderson also unveiled a $A100 million grant to speed up work on a rail network linking the eastern states.