The federal ruling against BHP Billiton would appear to now open it to an attack on it’s basic property rights. As such it is a disturbing development. Not just for BHP shareholders but for everybody that builds assets in Australia.
“BHP Billiton has been stunned by a court decision that has found that the multibillion-dollar railway it built has to be shared with other mining companies. The Federal Court found that BHP’s railway lines in Western Australia are not technically part of its production processes.The ruling means a separate inquiry by the Australian Competition Tribunal has a good chance of succeeding in opening critical export assets to competition.And the world’s third biggest iron ore producer is warning its exports could be hit hard.“