The AustralAsia Railway Corporation is a statutory body set up to represent the interests of the South Australian and Northern Territory Governments during the construction and operations of the AustralAsia Railway.
This railway comprises 824 kilometre standard gauge section from Tarcoola to Alice Springs that opened in 1980 and the new 1420 kilometre section from Alice Springs to Darwin that opened in 2004.
(Click to enlarge map)
The Corporation was set up in 1997 to manage the awarding of a Build, Own, Operate and Transfer back (BOOT) concession for the AustralAsia Railway and to enter into contractual arrangements with the successful consortium (Asia Pacific Transport Pty Ltd) and its successor One Rail Australia.
It was established under the AustralAsia Railway Corporation Act 1996 (NT) and supported by South Australia through complementary legislation.
The rights and obligations of the two Governments are set out in an Inter-Governmental Agreement.
The rail operator and Corporation are parties to a Concession Deed covering rights and obligations, including project risks. The Deed seeks to mitigate those risks by apportioning appropriate responsibility for them. The Corporation holds security over the works in the event that the Concession is terminated.
With the commencement of operations in 2004, the Corporation’s role changed substantially. It now focuses on delivery of obligations of the parties to the Concession Deed throughout the concession period and ensuring the ongoing development and economic benefit from the rail corridor is achieved.
Another important responsibility of the Corporation is to ensure the rail infrastructure is properly maintained. This includes annual inspections and regular reviews of maintenance to ensure compliance with concession obligations. Current major upgrades and replacement of older sections of the rail infrastructure in the South Australian corridor are examples of the Corporation and rail operator using the Concession Obligations to maintain and improve the asset over the concession period.
The Corporation also provides advice to the Northern Territory and South Australian Governments on matters impacting the railway and works with the private sector on developments along the corridor and utilising the corridor. Recent examples of this include the work around the Agribusiness Hub in Katherine and the SunCable ASEAN Power Link Project.