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Home > Non-fiction > Steel On Steel: Inside the battle for the future of Australia’s biggest railroad
Steel On Steel: Inside the battle for the future of Australia’s biggest railroad
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Steel On Steel: Inside the battle for the future of Australia’s biggest railroad

Author: Stephen Baines



The inside story of the privatisation of the freight arm of Queensland Rail and one of the most extraordinary transformations of a company in the history of Australian business.

An icon that touched every part of life in the state, Queensland Rail (QR) was famously and audaciously catapulted into the private sector in 2010 after more than 140 years of government ownership. CEO Lance Hockridge and state Treasurer Andrew Fraser oversaw the privatisation, which simultaneously involved a massive de-merger from the passenger rail business and a $4. billion initial public offering – all executed in the face of unprecedented outrage and opposition.

Authored by Stephen Baines, who was involved in the intense negotiations with the government at all levels, Steel on Steel captures the story of Australia’s ultimate corporate soap opera, as powerful forces and big name stars clambered onto the stage, and the daily media smorgasbord of rumour, intrigue, speculation and high farce spooked Australian investors. In the end, Aurizon, as it is now known, was saved by seasoned international investors who enthusiastically embraced the new listing and turned the government-owned railroad into a private engine of prosperity and growth.