AUSTRALIA: Paul Scurrah has been selected as the next Managing Director & CEO of freight operator Pacific National, succeeding Dean Dalla Valle who had announced his intention to step down earlier this year.


Having previously served as CEO of Queensland Rail and Executive Vice-President, Commercial & Marketing, at Aurizon before joining DP World, Scurrah became CEO of Virgin Australia in 2019, stepping down last year when the airline was sold to new owners. He is due to start at PN on April 19, with Dalla Valle moving to an advisory role.

‘Paul’s long history as a senior transport executive in Australia, and repeat experience as a CEO, positions him perfectly to take on the leadership of Pacific National’, commented Chairman Russell Smith. Noting that Scurrah ‘brings with him a wealth of executive, commercial and stakeholder experience which covers all areas’ of the railway’s business, Smith believed that this would place him ‘in a strong position to continue the growth of Australia’s largest private rail freight company’.


Scurrah will be joined later in April by Mike Cory, who has been appointed as Chief Operating Officer. Previously Executive Vice-President & Chief Operating Officer for Canadian National until retirement in 2019, he is ‘amongst the best in the world’ in terms of his expertise in precision scheduled railroading, according to PN. Smith said his ‘strong leadership, passion for railroading and operational expertise will be invaluable to Pacific National and to the Australian rail industry’.

Smith explained that the new leadership team would work closely with stakeholders ‘to roll out Pacific National’s transformational strategy of intermodal terminal development nationally’. This is intended to support the Inland Rail project, ‘reduce costs to the logistics chain and provide extensive social benefits to the Australian public by helping to remove trucks off our roads and reducing the environmental impact of freight transport’.