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    Media Statements

    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Treasurer and Minister for Employment and Economic Development
    The Honourable Andrew Fraser


    Treasurer and Minister for Employment and Economic Development
    The Honourable Andrew Fraser

    Tuesday, December 08, 2009


    All Queenslanders will be offered the opportunity to join the new-look, publicly-floated, nationally-focussed transport giant QR National and existing QR coal and freight workers will be gifted $1000 worth of shares, Treasurer Andrew Fraser announced today.


    “This priority share package is a reflection of the government’s recognition of the workers’ contribution to making QR what it is today,” Mr Fraser said.


    “It also gives them a tangible stake in its exciting privately-owned future.”


    The staff share package is not an uncommon approach in such public floats – recent examples include the Commonwealth Bank, Qantas, Telstra and Myer.


    “The design of the public float process for this business – taking in QR’s coal tracks and trains, and QR’s freight and services businesses - begins today.


    “QR’s passenger services will however be separated out from the rest of the business by June 2010 and be retained in 100 per cent state ownership.


    “This will give QR passenger services a clear and better dedicated focus.  This will be run as a new Government Owned Corporation.”


    Mr Fraser said the State Government will initially retain a 25 to 40 per cent shareholding in the publicly-floated coal and freight businesses. 


    “Just as with the Suncorp float in the 1990s, the new company’s headquarters will be here in Brisbane.


    “By retaining the 25 to 40 per cent of the new company, the government will offer the new entity short to medium term stability. There is every confidence that QR will be a success on the listed market, providing a boost to Queensland’s balance sheet.


    “It is, however, not our intention to remain a shareholder in the longer term.


    “Today’s QR float announcement is part of our government’s plan to lease four other major assets which began last month with Forestry Plantations Queensland. It is planned the FPQ process will be concluded by June.


     “The time is right.  It is not the Government’s role to own and operate coal businesses.


     “Instead of putting money towards new coal trains, the Government can better focus on its key role delivering social infrastructure and services for the public – like schools and hospitals.


    “These assets need billions of dollars of ongoing Government investment over the next five years.


    “It is the Government’s view that the private sector is better placed to take on the expense and risk of running these commercial businesses.”


    Key elements of the eligible employee share offer include:


    • Free allocation of shares up to the value of $1000
    • The opportunity to purchase an additional $4000 in shares at a discounted rate
    • Eligible employees - permanent employees who have transferred to the new business and be in the business at the point of sale
    • Shares must be held for a minimum period of three years
    • Assistance will be provided in accessing financial (including taxation) planning advice
    • Pre-float seminars will be developed for QR staff

    The actual shares will be issued at the time of the new company’s float.


    8 December 2009


    Media: 3224 4500