By Peter Kenny, Partner
Queensland Rail is currently conducting audits of private level crossings.
Queensland Rail says it wants to achieve compliance with relevant Australian and Queensland Rail Standards and its obligations under the Rail Safety National Law (Queensland) (Act) to identify and assess risks to safety that arise from these crossings.
If Queensland Rail discovers the existence of a private road crossing, it will ask the landowner to enter into a “Crossing Licence and Interface Agreement for the Management of Road/Rail Interface Risks” (Agreement). Despite the longwinded title of this document, Queensland Rail is particularly keen to lock affected property owners into this type of contractual arrangement in order to avoid any assertion that it has not complied with its obligations under the Act and arguably be exposed to a fine of $500,000 per non-compliance.
Landowners approached by Queensland Rail to enter into one of these Agreements are under no obligation to do so. Having said that, if a landowner chooses not to enter into the Agreement, Queensland Rail may (and probably will) deny access to the railway corridor as it does not form part of the landowner’s adjoining title.
Landowners should not unwittingly accept the terms of what Queensland Rail describes as its “standard” agreement without first obtaining advice.
Thynne + Macartney’s agribusiness lawyers can assist you with your negotiations with Queensland Rail to improve the utility of the Agreement particularly in relation to livestock movements along the railway corridor and the size of vehicles using the private level crossings.
This information is intended to provide a general summary only and should not be relied on as a substitute for legal advice.