Transport Service Contracts
Transport Service Contracts are negotiated on an efficient price basis to purchase transport services on behalf of government from QR Limited.
The principal benefits of the transport service contracts are that they:
- provide a flexible, accountable and transparent mechanism for the government to satisfy its transport and related policy objectives
- enable the government to identify the minimum level and standard of services it requires to be provided
- enable government to determine whether the level of funding for these services is providing the best value for money from an overall transport policy perspective
- provide a secure and predictable funding stream for QR Limited.
Transport Service Contract (Rail Infrastructure)
The seven-year Transport Service Contract (Rail Infrastructure) commenced on 1 July 2006 and provides more than $2 billion in funding over the term of the contract. This Transport Service Contract requires QR Limited to maintain the capability of Queensland's non-commercial rail network on a fit for purpose basis.
The contract contains a framework for setting base service levels for track performance. The base service levels relate not only to engineering standards, but also to a range of factors that affect the efficiency of above-rail operations, including temporary speed restrictions, track availability, track condition, and below-rail delays.
A framework for the development of long-term strategies for specific infrastructure assets (such as noise barriers, open level crossings and timber bridge replacement) is also included in the contract.
Regional Transport Service Contract
The two-year Regional Services Contract commenced on 1 July 2001 costing A$17 million a year, and has since been approved and extended through to 31 December 2010. This transport service contract purchases scheduled general freight train services to regional centres west of the commercial North Coast line. It does not subsidise specific commodities (for example, livestock, Q-Link, or bulk grain).
Non-rail and Non-operational Transport Service Contract
The seven-year Non-rail and Non-operational Contract commenced on 1 July 1999. This transport service contract purchases specified maintenance services from QR Limited.
The government remains committed to utilising disused rail corridors for community recreational purposes providing public safety issues are adequately addressed.
In conjunction with other Queensland Government agencies, we are pursing opportunities to lease former rail corridors to interested local authorities. The Department of Transport and Main Roads strongly supports the personal health and environmental advantages of cycling and walking, as well as the increased opportunity to better appreciate our environment. In many locations, the best alternative use of former rail corridor land is for community walking, cycling, and other so-called "soft" transport-related purposes including, the establishment of native vegetation habitats where people can enjoy the surrounds as they pursue more personal modes of transport as part of recreational activity.
The Queensland Government initiative on Rail Trails has the potential to create additional tourism, employment and business opportunities in regional and rural areas and the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail is a prime example of this policy in action.