Queensland Government ignores graziers and farmers to push coal rail nightmare

Published: August 14, 2014

The Lock the Gate Alliance says the Queensland Government is sacrificing productive farmland, precious water and its regional credentials by approving a fourth major coal rail line across Central Queensland floodplains to help foreign coal companies transport Galilee Basin coal to port, despite ample evidence the projects are financially unviable and will severely impact food production.

The announcement this morning that Adani’s North Galilee Rail project has been approved has not addressed the concerns of landholders, but rather puts off further modelling and negotiations for the future.

Central Queensland regional coordinator, Ellie Smith said, “The Deputy Premier says Adani still need to submit their designs for the rail line, and revised flood modelling, before construction commences. We’re astounded that in principle approval has been given without this information, which is among the key concerns of affected landholders.

“Mr Seeney is also telling landholders they must negotiate with Adani over access to their homesteads, stock feeding areas and water supply. The Government is turning its back on Central Queensland grazing and cropping businesses and giving a coal mining company control of land and water in the area, leaving landholders to fend for themselves.”

The Queensland Government has now approved four major rail lines from the Galilee Basin to the coast, and has created a State Development Area to facilitate compulsory acquisition of land to build two of them.

The State Development Area is currently the subject of a parliamentary committee inquiry, with submissions from the public closing today.

The Lock the Gate Alliance submission recommends that the committee hold public hearings for the inquiry in the affected areas – Bowen, Collinsville, and Clermont – and that a full cost-benefit analysis of the proposals be undertaken.

“The declaration of a state development area is unnecessary overreach by the State Government when there are other more appropriate mechanisms to facilitate infrastructure of this nature. We don’t think it’s fair that the rules and laws of this state be tipped always in favour of the mining industry, who are being offered extraordinarily sweet deals on land grabs, free water and royalty holidays when every other Queensland business has to get by on their own.

“The Galilee Basin miners should not be allowed to railroad Central Queensland landholders and put our floodplains at risk, and we’re calling on the Committee to make the Government see sense on this long-running conflict.”

 

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