Qld premier backs rail privatisation

New Queensland premier Campbell Newman has committed the privatisation of Queensland Rail National (ASX:QRN).

“We believe the shares should be sold, but only at a time when we can achieve the best price,” Newman told a press conference yesterday. “We said during the campaign there would be no (other) privatisations.”

Most political analysts say the privatisation of government-owned assets was partly to blame for the Labor government’s huge election loss at the weekend.

The new Queensland government has inherited a debt of about $85 billion and hopes to gain about $3 billion from the remaining 34% of government holdings in the heavy rail freight company.

QR National is the world’s largest rail transporter of coal from mine to port for export markets. It hauled an average of 500,000 tonnes per day in 2009-10. It services Australia’s coal producers at more than 50 mine sites in Queensland and New South Wales.

QR National released an update to the Australian stock exchange on Friday revising down profits in the wake of the floods forcing the closure of some of its logistics systems.

QR National was down 1.07% to $3.69 at 11.30am AEST.

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