30 June 2010
BHP Billiton today welcomed the Australian Competition Tribunal’s decision to reject the
application for declaration of its Newman rail line while expressing its disappointment at the
Tribunal’s decision to grant declaration of BHP Billiton’s Goldsworthy rail line under Part IIIA
of the Trade Practices Act.
The company’s rail infrastructure in Western Australia is fundamental to its integrated mine,
rail and port production process for its world class Iron Ore operations.
Ian Ashby, President of Iron Ore, said: “While we welcome the Tribunal’s decision to reject
the application for access to our Newman line, we are disappointed by their decision to grant
declaration of our Goldsworthy rail line given its importance to our Iron Ore business. It is
not in the public interest that our business or customers should be disadvantaged through
the increased inefficiencies and costs that will result from other companies operating their
trains on our rail lines”.
Following the Tribunal's decision, access seekers may now negotiate with BHP Billiton for
access to the Goldsworthy railway. These negotiations, and the availability and terms of
access, would be governed by the Part IIIA statutory framework, and either the access
seeker or BHP Billiton could refer disputed matters to the ACCC for arbitration. The
outcome of this process would govern whether access would be provided and on what
BHP Billiton will review the Tribunal’s Goldsworthy decision. The company is entitled to
appeal the decision via the Full Bench of the Federal Court of Australia.
BHP Billiton’s partners in the Western Australia Iron Ore operations are Itochu Minerals &
Energy of Australia Pty Ltd, Mitsui-Itochu Iron Pty Ltd and Mitsui Iron Ore Corporation Pty
*BHP Billiton’s attributable share is approximately 85%.