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Queensland squeezes Palmer in Galilee rail corridor policy

THE Queensland government has confirmed it will allow just two rail corridors to connect new Galilee Basin coal mines with ports on the coast.

Lou Caruana
Queensland squeezes Palmer in Galilee rail corridor policy

The decision will effectively force mining billionaire and politician Clive Palmer to negotiate with other mine developers if his China First project is to get access to the port.

Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney said it had become increasingly evident which corridors were best-placed to service the region. They were the one approved in the GVK-Hancock Alpha Coal project joining into the Aurizon network, and the rail corridors being developed in the Adani Carmichael Coal mine and rail project, and the North Galilee Basin Rail project.

“My clear view is that these two corridors reflect the projects that are best-placed in their approval processes, they have pit-to-port capability and they continue to progress in a manner which suggests they are serious about moving forward,” he said.

Seeney told Queensland Parliament that the government’s policy would “resolve the ridiculous situation under Labor that saw a spaghetti of proposed rail lines criss-cross the Galilee Basin, creating uncertainty for both landholders and investors”

“This week we took another important step towards opening up the massive coal reserves of the Galilee Basin for the benefit of all Queenslanders,” Seeney said.

“We promised better infrastructure and planning at the election, and we will deliver that in the Galilee Basin for the benefit of the agriculture and the resources industries.”

Seeney said Cabinet had re-affirmed its June 2012 policy position that only two multi-user corridors were necessary to service the needs of the Galilee Basin.

“Since that announcement, the Coordinator-General has conducted extensive community and industry consultation on the proposed declaration of a Galilee Basin State Development Area within which the Government’s powers of compulsory land acquisition may be exercised,” he said.

“Overwhelmingly the view of the community is that the area covered by the State Development Area must be minimised to reduce impacts on landholders.

“Consistent with our views in 2012, our clear policy is that there needs to be one corridor to service the southern end of the Galilee Basin and one corridor to service the central part of the Basin.”

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