The Australian government has appointed business and legal advisers to look at the possible privitisation of the country’s national rail network.
Business adviser Macquarie Capital and legal adviser Herbert Smith Freehills will carry out a scoping study which will consider “options for the future management, operations and ownership” of the Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC).
ARTC manages more than 8,500 kilometres of railway across South Australia, Victoria, Western Australia, Queensland and New South Wales.
The study will focus on the Inland Rail project and what opportunities exist for private sector financing.
In a statement, the government said: “During this process, the Australian Rail Track Corporation will continue to operate as usual and services will not be affected.
“The government will consider the recommendations of the scoping study as part of the 2016-17 Budget process. No decision on the future ownership of ARTC will be made until this time.”