Treasurer Andrew Fraser said it would be better to sell the tracks and trains together according to the ABC.
Queensland Resources Council chief executive Michael Roche endorsed the industry consortium bid yesterday.
“The bid – on behalf of the companies producing 98 per cent of Queensland’s coal exports – ticks all the boxes, not only in terms of locking in a compelling financial result for the state government but also in ensuring that the interests of smaller producers, new entrants and other industries using the central Queensland coal rail network are protected,” he said.
“The coal industry proposal, which includes the federal government-owned Australian Rail Track Corporation as the independent network operator, will ensure timely new investment in the network as well as open competition among rail freight companies, including QR National.”
The government announced plans to publicly float its coal chain assets last year, as part of a series of public asset sales to reduce debt by up to $15 billion and win back a AAA credit rating.
QRN’s coal chain assets were scheduled for a float in the December quarter to reach a potential market cap of up to $7 billion.
QCIRG consists of Anglo American Metallurgical Coal, BHP Billiton, BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance, Ensham Resources, Yancoal Australia, Jellinbah Resources, Macarthur Coal, New Hope, Peabody Energy, QCoal, Rio Tinto Coal Australia, Vale, Wesfarmers Resources and Xstrata Coal.
Aquila Resources and New Hope are expected to hop on board at a later stage.