New Coal Railways For Galilee And Bowen Basins

New Coal Railways For Galilee And Bowen Basins

Queensland Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney

Queensland Minister for State Development Jeff Seeney

Queensland Minister for Infrastructure Jeff Seeney

Queensland Minister for Planning Jeff Seeney

Two Rail Corridors Defined For Galilee Basin

Victor P Taffa

The Newman Government today announced two rail corridors to service new and existing coal mines in both the Galilee and Bowen Basins.

An east-west corridor will see an extension of the existing QR National network from near Moranbah to the central Galilee Basin and will provide links to coal ports of Abbot Point, Dalrymple Bay and Dudgeon Point.

A north-south rail corridor will be defined along the proposed GVK-Hancock Coal alignment to facilitate the construction of new standard gauge rail lines to link the proposed large-scale, vertically integrated mining operations in the southern Galilee Basin to Abbot Point.

Deputy Premier and Minister for State Development, Infrastructure and Planning Jeff Seeney said the government’s decision for two corridors was a common-sense and co-ordinated approach that would replace eight different railway proposals under the previous Bligh Government.

“This outcome is a win for the mine proponents, loc al communities, landholders and the environment.” Mr. Seeney said.

He told Parliament today the two corridors were the only areas in which the State Government was likely to use its powers to compulsorily acquire land for new rail lines.

“After exhaustive negotiations with all the mine proponents I believe that the responsible development of the Galilee Basin can be achieved by defining an east-west extension of the QRN network and a north-south corridor to facilitate a new standard gauge line.” Mr. Seeney said.

“The Government will work towards declaring State Development Areas to define these two preferred corridors within which the Government’s powers of compulsory land acquisition can be exercised to bring about our clearly stated policy outcomes of a coordinated approach to railway development.”

“The east-west extension is currently being developed by QRN and Adani and provides the best option for a staged development of mine, rail and port capacity for the Galilee Basin in the short term.” Mr. Seeney said.

“A major increase in tonnages can be carried on this extension and the existing network. The Government will also support an expansion of capacity on the existing QRN alignment north to Abbot Point.”

“It will be the preferred transport corridor for proposed developments and expansions in the northern Bowen Basin and will provide a long awaiting deviation around Collinsville.” Mr. Seeney said.

The Government will also support the development of coal-line standard for the existing rail line from Alpha to Emerald.

For the large, vertically integrated mines proposed for the southern Galilee area the Government will define a corridor that straddles the alignment proposed by GVK-Hancock Coal for a new 500 km standard gauge line north to Abbot Point.

“The Government will ensure third party access to each of these corridors and no proponent will be disadvantaged.”

“There will be the option for other large mining proposals to co-locate their own new railway lines within north-south corridor should they consider that to be more commercially viable.” Mr. Seeney said.