No sale as Tasmanian rail deadline passes
The sale deadline for the Pacific National Tasmania (PNT)-owned Melba Line passed on Friday without the deal being finalised.
At a crossroads: Sale of Tasmanian rail system still to be settled
The sale was to lead to the ownership of the state's rail system passing to the Tasmanian Government this year.
However, Tasmanian infrastructure minister Graham Sturges said the sale process remained on track with negotiations continuing with PNT.
The government expects that the November 30 completion date would still be met.
"The remaining few matters, required to be settled before the business sale agreement can be signed by both parties, are expected to be resolved in the next few weeks," Mr Stuges said.
PNT parent Asciano was unavailable for comment at deadline today.
The state opposition called for more clarity in the sale process.
"The minister should also tell Tasmanians where he will find the $32m required to buy back the network," the Liberal Party's Jeremy Rockliff said.
"The Budget sits on a knife edge and yet no allowance was made for the purchase of the network, and many weeks after the purchase was negotiated, the government still hasn't been able to account for the funding source."
Meanwhile, the first phase of the $38m rail infrastructure upgrade was completed on Friday when the last sleeper was laid in the south of the state.
"The contractor, Queensland Rail, has worked in partnership with Tasmanian-based VEC Civil Engineering to complete what has been a significant undertaking," Mr Sturges said.