The Lock the Gate Alliance calls on Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney to come clean about a State Development Area (SDA) that will allow the government to take land for a rail line, without fair negotiations.
Central Queensland coordinator of the Lock the Gate Alliance, Ellie Smith says the Deputy Premier is misleading the public about the need for an SDA and that rail lines could be built without it.
“The truth is GVK has not been able to get its way with landholders who are making reasonable claims in order to protect their businesses and livelihoods, so it’s called in the Government to do the dirty work for it.
“This move is part of a broader effort on the part of the Queensland Government to erode landholders’ rights in order to prop up a dying mining industry."
The move comes just days after the Government introduced a bill that would restrict the communities’ rights to object to mining leases. It is also part of the Galilee Basin Development Strategy which includes providing royalty discounts for the first company to begin building a mine in the region and facilitate access to water that could otherwise be used for agriculture and drought proofing regional communities.
The SDA also covers the route for Adani’s North Galilee Basin Rail (NGBR) which has neither State nor Federal environmental approval.
“The Queensland Government is pre-empting the EIS process by declaring this route,” Ms Smith said. "It’s absolutely disgraceful that we’ve got to the point in this State where the government doesn’t even pay lip-service to the environmental impact assessment process.
“We undertook a detailed analysis of the North Galilee Basin Rail EIS when it was released and were appalled as its quality. There are many issues still to be addressed with that proposed rail corridor, not least of which is the increased flood risk it will pose to surrounding properties.
“The route for this line is simply dangerous and yet this SDA declaration now sets that route in stone.”
After releasing new maps and a FAQ document on their website, the Queensland Government have since taken these down. They can be downloaded here. They are said to make an announcement about the SDA at 1pm.
Lock the Gate Alliance Submission on the Adani, North Galilee Basin Rail can be found here.