ARTC privatisation? Bad idea, Joe.
The Federal Budget tonight is expected to reveal the Abbott Government is looking to privatise the Australian Rail Track Corporation.
The RTBU will be in Canberra tonight to get as much information as possible on the potential selling off of this important national asset – a profitable asset that returns dividends to taxpayers.
We know the forecast for rail freight is looking bright, and the industry is poised for significant growth, so why the Treasurer, Joe Hockey, would consider selling an asset like this when the budget is in structural deficit beggars belief.
Last financial year, ARTC brought in $773m in revenue and $164 million in after-tax profit. Once you factor in the forecast growth in freight volumes, and the impact of the planned Inland Rail project from Melbourne to Brisbane, you can see that ARTC is a strategic income-generating asset that any sensible government would want to hold on to.
The RTBU will be keeping a close eye on these plans and will let members know as soon as we have further information.