|Description of this AgencyDescription of this Agency|
The proclamation of the Rail Corporations Act 1996 (79/1996) established the 'rail corporations' V/Line Freight (commenced 1 April 1997) and Victorian Rail Track (commenced 1 May 1997).
The V/Line Freight Corporation succeeded the V/Line Freight Business Unit of the Public Transport Corporation.
When the V/Line Corporation was established, it was envisaged that privatisation would quickly follow corporatisation. In light of this, the core functions of the V/Line Corporation was:
- To focus on 'core freight' businesses (excluding public and private passenger services and the existing Fast Track portfolio),
- To investigate opportunities to re-enter interstate markets for inter-capital container traffic,
- To use the changes occurring in rail industry through the National Competition Policy as an opportunity to also expand and grow business in other interstate markets,
- To transfer all Infrastructure Maintenance, Train Control and ancillary functions to the new Victorian Rail Track Corporation,
- To outsource major Rolling Stock Maintenance, retaining only essential key staff and ownership of nominated facilities,
- To structure overheads to meet business needs, and
- To determine appropriate funding and capital cost structures.
Section 16 of the Rail Corporations (Further Amendment) Act 1998 (98/1998) abolished V/Line Freight so that privatisation could proceed. The Public Transport Corporation, established under Part II of the Transport Act 1983, became the successor in law to V/Line Freight (subject to further research).
The Offices of the Premier and Minister for Transport announced on 22 February 1999 that Freight Victoria (a private consortium) was the successful bidder for the V/Line Freight Corporation. The consortium, which consisted of United States rail freight operator RailAmerica, Macquarie Bank, Goninan and Fluor Daniel, acquired a 15 year lease to operate and maintain Victoria's country rail network.