Deal to rescue Tasmanian rail on track: Sturges

Government says Pacific National sale will be completed in November despite claims it should have been done in July

Tasmania’s infrastructure minister says the sale of the Pacific National will be completed in November despite claims from the Greens it should have been finalised last month.

Greens spokesman on infrastructure Tim Morris says the business sale agreement for the rail carrier was supposed to be signed by July 31, with November 30 set as the deadline for the final transfer of Pacific National’s assets.

"The Minister must reveal whether he made a mistake when he said the sale agreement was due to be signed on November 30, or whether he meant the date for finalisation of this agreement is November 30," Morris says.

Sturges says Morris has is wrong and that the deal had always been mapped out to finish in November.

"We negotiated a process for the purchase of rail, and negotiations are on track for the sale to be finalised on November 30," Sturges says.

He also says the there is no threat to the operation of the western Melba line, which Morris claims is in "limbo" after the July 31 deadline passed.

"The negotiations over the Melba line have been extended, but there is absolutely no threat to its operation," Sturges says.

"This is a complex process and once again Mr Morris has failed to understand it and is pursuing a cheap headline regardless of the facts."

The Tasmanian Government's decision to purchase Pacific National's assets follows a decision by the rail carrier to pull out of the State.

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