Asciano out of Tasmanian rail, at last

Asciano has finally concluded its long, drawn-out sale of its Tasmanian, Pacific National-branded, rail assets to the Tasmanian Government for $32 million.

A new state-owned railway company will manage the former Pacific National rail infrastructure and operations from 1 December.
 
Asciano chief executive Mark Rowsthorn said the sale will enable the group to focus on its core businesses. "Whilst our negotiating team has enjoyed the numerous visits to Tasmania over recent months, we are all relieved to see this deal done and I would like to publicly recognise our team’s efforts in finalising what is quite a technical agreement," he said.
 
Tasmanian government infrastructure minister Graeme Sturges said the deal would secure the jobs of Pacific National Tasmania (PNT) employees and rail services.
 
"Through this purchase of the Tasmanian rail business, the government is ensuring that rail continues to be a viable transport option in Tasmania, delivering both ongoing certainty of rail services to customers and job security to all PNT employees," he said.
 
The sale completes a full circle for Aswciano since the 2004 purchase of the state’s rail business.

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