AUSTRALIA: Shareholders in freight operator QR National Ltd will be asked to approve changing the name of the company to Aurizon Ltd at its annual general meeting in Brisbane on November 7. Combining ‘Australia’ and ‘horizon’, the new name ‘conveys the geographical scope of our expanding operations, as well as the extraordinary growth opportunities that are on the horizon for the company’, according to QR.

Announcing the new name on September 17, QR National Managing Director & CEO Lance Hockridge said that use of the ‘QR’ prefix had been ‘critical’ to the success of QR National’s separation from Queensland Rail and listing on the Australian Securities Exchange in 2010, but ‘significant confusion’ had persisted among stakeholders of the two organisations. ‘The similarities in our company names have made it difficult for financial market participants, different levels of government, the media and the general public to distinguish between the services offered by each company’, he said.

‘We believe changing the company name will help address this problem and signify a symbolic break from legacy issues of the past, while still retaining the history and knowledge that has served our company so well over the past 147 years’, he added. ‘While our Queensland operations will always be the company’s foundation asset, and intrinsically tied to our future success, this new name makes a clear statement about our growing Australia-wide footprint and growth aspirations’.

Under the proposal, the company’s logo and corporate colours would remain unchanged ‘to preserve brand equity’, while its stock market listing code would change to AZJ with effect from December 1.