Queensland Coal Industry Rail Group (QCIRG) comprised 13 companies,
accounting for 98% of the state's coal output, and had the support of
Australian Rail Track Corporation, which would have been an equity
partner. The group offered to pay for $A 4.85 billion for QR National's
2300km central Queensland coal network, and reportedly increased its
bid to $A 5.1 billion last month. If successful, QCIRG would have taken
over the infrastructure while operators would have continued to use the
network on an open-access basis.

However, QCIRG said last week in a statement that it was unable to
satisfy its own or the government's requirements for the acquisition.

QR National, the freight unit of Queensland Rail, is due to be floated
on the Sydney Stock Exchange at the end of the year, although the
privatisation schedule has been criticised by some analysts because of
the current poor market conditions.